The Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I.) recently held a Behavioral Analysis Training at Miami Senior High for our Miami-Dade Schools Police Department (M-DSPD). The training was geared to those professionals who have daily interaction with students.  The F.B.I. had never conducted this training at a public school level before anywhere in the country.  It had only been offered at the university level. The course is part of the Behavioral Research and Instruction Unit (BRIU) which was established at the F.B.I. academy in Quantico, Virginia in 1972.

The BRIU’s vision encompasses excellence and leadership in the applied behavioral sciences for the FBI and its partners with the purpose of bringing forth the FBI’s strategic priorities. BRIU has pioneered the development of different tactics, techniques, and procedures which have been adopted as industry standards in behavior-based programs supporting clients within the law enforcement, intelligence, and military communities. The whole idea behind the study of behavioral science is to gain a better understanding of human behavior. BRIU centers specifically on criminal human behavior in an effort to learn about humans and understanding criminals—who they are, how they think, why they do what they do—as a means to help solve crimes and prevent criminal activity. BRIU’s team of  professionals at the National Center for Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) offer the latest training, high-impact research, and academic consultation in the behavioral sciences in support of the FBI’s mission and the work of the broader law enforcement and intelligence communities.

Our police department was able to facilitate this training which is geared specifically to those professionals who have daily interaction with the students. The goal of the training is to pair up the School Resource Officers (SROs) with the counselors at their assigned schools which will help everyone involved with our students to get a better picture on the need to identify and act on those issues as soon as they become a problem. FBI Agent Paul Clark of the Training Unit tailored the training to our needs in hopes that we can potentially spot signs of students who may pose substantial threats to any of our schools.  The first part of the training involved exercises to have our participants get a feel of the different approaches into analyzing young people’s behavioral patterns using years of investigation and studies done by the FBI.

The BRIU staff is composed of supervisory special agents, veteran police officers, federal agents, criminologists, psychologists, criminal investigations instructors, crime analysts, and program management analysts who possess advanced degrees and similar experiences in the behavioral science disciplines of psychology, criminology, sociology, and conflict resolution. These individuals use their combined knowledge and expertise to instruct others on various topics related to the application of behavioral science for law enforcement operations, including:

  • behavioral science for law enforcement
  • applied criminology
  • psycho-social aspects of criminal behavior
  • conflict and crisis management/communication
  • futuristic in law enforcement
  • youth violence
  • death investigations
  • psycho-social behavior and mindset of gangs
  • stress management in law enforcement
  • cyber criminals
  • interpersonal violence

For New Agents, the BRIU provides basic instruction on personality traits, behavioral characteristics, and conflict resolution with the sole purpose of helping course participants to understand themselves better and the action of students in our campuses.

BRIU has been performing research for years which centers on developing new and innovative investigative approaches and techniques that will assist the law enforcement and intelligence communities in their execution of operational and training activities. An emphasis is placed on identifying offenders’ behaviors and motivations using a variety of research methodologies.  Much of the research conducted is with the collaboration of outside researchers in academia and interagency partners. Some of the research projects currently active include, but are not limited to:

  • global hostage-taking
  • mass victimization, homicide clearance
  • gangs and gang violence
  • behavior in the cyber world and emerging technologies
  • future of law enforcement
  • firearm offenses
  • counterintelligence and the insider threat
  • violent and aberrant behavior
  • behavioral computer modeling for law enforcement
  • statement analysis; interviewing and persuasion
  • law enforcement stress and stress management

BRIU also leads the collaboration with the Futures Working Group, a partnership of the Society of Police Futurists International and the FBI. The purpose of the Futures Working Group is to develop and encourage others to develop forecasts and strategies to maximize the effectiveness of local, state, federal, and international law enforcement as they strive to maintain peace and security in the 21st century.

This one day training was instrumental in preparing our mental health professionals for the new 2014-2015 school year.  Our M-DSPD will continue our goal of facilitating our students’ education, by assuring their safety and security.  We look forward to serving our students and “giving them the world.”

Published by the Public Information & Community Affairs Office, MDSPD