“It’s a big country,” Slutkin said. “Who knows who will pick it up or who won’t?”
Slutkin’s program, Cure Violence, employs “violence interrupters” in the United States and abroad who try to disrupt shootings and other acts of violence before they happen, stopping retaliations by mediating and diverting high-risk people to counseling, drug treatment or job opportunities. Local law enforcement agencies and the FBI are trying to do something similar for mass shootings.
The FBI opened the Behavioral Threat Assessment Center in 2010, using a multidisciplinary approach, including psychiatrists, to help identify and disrupt targeted violence. The center works with local law enforcement agencies following tips about suspicious behavior from families, friends and schools.
The center, working in coordination with other government agencies, has helped address hundreds of cases. FBI Deputy Assistant Director Timothy Slater said research is ongoing “to identify behaviors that might indicate that a person is heading toward committing targeted violence. We hope this will help educate people to see the warning signs.”
Others are looking to the news media for help, part of a new twist on an old idea."