Mass Violence Advisory Initiative
Recognizing that incidents of mass violence present a myriad of unique challenges to law enforcement leaders while under intense pressure, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) have partnered to launch the Mass Violence Advisory Initiative (MVAI).
This initiative will provide peer-to-peer assistance to law enforcement leaders following a mass violence event to maximize the safety and wellness of officers, other first responders, and the community. The MVAI will advise these groups by sharing promising practices for communicating with community members and the media and connecting law enforcement leaders with local, state, and federal partners. The initiative will also address agency, victim, and survivor’s mental well being.
Examples of acts of mass violence include:
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia, shooting in 2007
- Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting in 2012
- Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut, shooting in 2012
- Boston Marathon, Boston, Massachusetts, bombing in 2013
- Pulse Night Club, Orlando, Florida, shooting in 2016
- Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shooting in 2018
These events can cause deep and long-lasting trauma to families, first responders, and community members. The IACP recognizes that due to the complex, unique, and urgent nature of these events, law enforcement leaders responding to mass violence incidents will benefit from the knowledge of other law enforcement personnel who have experienced a similar incident. Agencies requesting assistance from MVAI following a mass violence incident will be connected with a member of the Mass Violence Peer-to-Peer Advisory Team who will provide guidance and assistance based on their experience with these types of tragedies. The IACP will provide these services at no cost to the agency in need.