Behavioral Analysis Unit

Investigation 12/1/2010 Behavioral Analysis Unit One of the many age old questions facing society today, is what makes a criminal suceptible to committing that particular crime; or why was that person targeted as a victim. This question has sparked many debates within the criminal justice field, which is the reason the Behavioral Science Unit was created by the Federal Bereau of Investigation. In certain cases, knowing how a criminals mind operates, will help lead an investigation in the right direction in order to successfully arrest the correct perperatrator.

Analyzing a criminals mind, is learning the rules and rituals of their game in order to catch them, before further harm is inflicited. The human mind is such a powerful tool, and it is the job of a criminal profiler to study the aspects of the criminal mind to try to predict their next move. The Federal Bereau of Investigation has invested in the study of the criminal mind, and use their behavioral analysis units to better undertand the behavior of the worlds most dangerous criminals.

The FBI Behavioral Science Unit was formed in 1972, and is all about the better understanding of criminals and terrorists—who they are, how they think, why they do what they do—as a means to help solve crimes and prevent attacks. It was intially formed with eleven agents, and one cheif; who were handpicked for their profiling abilities. By 1977 the unit had 3 major purposes; crime scene analysis, profiling, and the analysis of threatening letters. Then in 1994 the Critical Incident Support Group integrated the FBI’s crisis managmement, behavioral, and tactical teams into one group.

During this time a new area of interest was added known as the behavioral analysis of child abduction and serial killers. Three years later it was seperated into the behavorial analysis unit east and west divisions. After 9/11 the unit began to become more involved in the subject matter of terrorism. So today the BAU has come along way, and is now seperated into three seperate categories, Behavioral Analysis Unit 1 (counterterrorism and threat assessment): Resources are focused on matters involving terrorism, threats, arson, bombings, stalking, cyber-related violations, and anticipated or active crisis situations.

Behavioral Analysis Unit 2 (crimes against adults): Resources are primarily focused on serial, spree, mass, and other murders; sexual assaults; kidnappings; missing person cases; and other violent crimes targeting adult victims. BAU 2 also provides assistance in potentially non-violent investigations, such as white-collar crime, public corruption, organized crime, and civil rights matters. Behavioral Analysis Unit 3 (crimes against children): Resources are focused on crimes perpetrated against child victims, including abductions, mysterious disappearances of children, homicides, and sexual victimization.

The behavioral analysis units use the method of Criminal profiling which is the process of identifying major characteristics of a criminal’s personality and behavior based on a careful analysis of the crimes they have committed. The method of criminal profiling is quickly becoming increasingly popular to use in criminal investigations. Despite its popularity, the process is met with much controversy because of a debate over whether it is useful in the field of policing.

The fact is that psychological criminal profiling is being incorporated into the crime field and is proving itself to be very helpful in police investigation and crime solving. The Behavioral Analysis Unit is made up of supervisory special agents, and veteran police officers with advanced degrees in psychology,criminology,sociology, and conflict resolution. These specialized agents assist local law enforcement on cases matching their profiling expertise. Since the BAU is a sub division of the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI, and has its own resources for teaching their agents on the subject of criminal profiling.

Topics include applied behavioral science for law enforcement operations; applied criminology; bio-psycho social aspects of criminal behavior; conflict and crisis management/communication; futuristics in law enforcement; juvenile crime and behavior; management of death investigations; psycho-social behavior and mindset of gangs; spirituality, wellness, and vitality issues in law enforcement; stress management in law enforcement; and mindset and methodology of terrorism.

The unit also instructs new agents in psychopathology; problem-solving and crisis intervention; memory and perception; gangs; and group dynamics. There are various seminars, and work study programs that are required of National Academy students, new agents, on-board FBI personnel, domestic and international law enforcement officers, U. S. military and intelligence officers, and other governmental and academic personnel as deemed appropriate, in order to offer the best preperation for this weight-bearing job.

In order to request help from the behavioral analysis unit, a local police department must submit a request help through the NCAVC coordinators. BAU assistance is provided through the method of “criminal investigative analysis”. Criminal Investigative Analysis is the process of reviewing crimes from both a behavioral and investigative perspective. It involves reviewing and assessing the facts of a criminal act, interperting offender behavior, and interaction with the victim.

In order to be a part of the Behavioral analysis unit, one must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, psychology, sociology,or criminology. Also, have been with a law enforcement agency for atleast 5 years, taking part in the investigations that are primarily in major crimes, interpersonal violence including sexual assault or homicide. A profiler interested in being part of the Behavioral Analysis unit must also have knowlege in investigation, law, and the criminal justice system as a whole.

Being mathematically comptent, and having a background in computer knowledge is also part of the job qualifications. An employee of the Behavioral Analysis Unit is held to certain standards, and must be equipped with special skills and abilities. An example of the skills one has to possess in order to be an ssa in the BAU are the following: demonstrated an above average on written and oral exam, also show above average skills in public speaking and presentation, an outstanding record, and an above average skill in report writting.

The abilities a behavioral analysis agent must have are the following: the ability to pass an oral and written exam, be in good physical condition with the ability to pass a pt test, pass a psych evaluation, and pass a background check. Once selected for this position the future profiler will now be one of the few specialized agents chosen to be a part of the behavioral analysis unit.

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