Justice Department launches program to help police respond to mass violence

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The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it will start offering help to law enforcement leaders whose communities experience incidents of mass violence.

The assistance, called the Mass Violence Advisory Initiative, will involve peer-to-peer consultations and be funded by the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), according to a press release.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) will help manage the initiative, which begins Wednesday. The BJA/IACP Mass Violence Peer-to-Peer Advisory Team consists of law enforcement officials who have experience with mass violence. Community and faith-based representatives will also help.

“Together, these experts will institute a trauma-informed approach to community healing and will work to ensure officer and community safety and wellness. The Mass Violence Peer-to-Peer Advisory Team will provide ongoing assistance, information and resources to help law enforcement and communities,” the release said.

“No community should have to endure the widespread suffering caused by an incident of mass violence. But if such a tragedy does occur, we must be prepared to lend our full support,” said Amy L. Solomon, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs.

“I am very pleased that our partners at the International Association of Chiefs of Police and seasoned and respected professionals across the spectrum are willing to work with us to come to the aid of communities in times of crisis,” Solomon added.

“No community wants a tragedy like this, but with the Mass Violence Advisory Initiative, communities will not have to face this alone and will have the resources they need to begin the healing process,” said IACP President Dwight Henninger.

“Mass Violence Peer-to-Peer Advisory Team personnel bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that will provide timely and valuable assistance to law enforcement leaders and their communities in the wake of these horrific events,” he added.

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