Key Takeaways for Preventing Attacks

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Prevent attacks overview: Deterring, Detecting, and Assessing

The first phase of the Mass Attacks Defense Chain concerns deterring, detecting, and stopping plots to commit mass shootings and other mass attacks.

Build a Prevention Team

No agency can fulfill the prevention role alone. A whole-of-community approach is needed to bring together different entities, build trusting relationships, and effectively share information. The prevention team also must partner with the public to build trust, encourage reporting, and provide support to turn those at risk away from violence. Law enforcement and other organizations, such as schools and businesses, benefit from community responsibility and reporting to prevent violence.

Foster a Prevention Mindset

Anyone has the power to prevent violence and a mass attack. Organizations and individuals are critical collaborators in identifying and reporting warning signs, such as a serious intent to kill members of the public and/or concrete steps toward carrying out an attack. In our data, about two-thirds of prevented attacks were stopped because of public reporting.

Follow Up Relentlessly

Pursue all leads, reach out to partners, keep in touch with the person of concern, embrace a critical thinking mindset, and do not completely dismiss anything. Then, reassess on a regular schedule or when new data come in.

Next Page in the Prevent Phase

Attack prevention framework