Template:Federal Bureau of Investigation The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), is a component of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC), which uses Behavior Sciences to assist in criminal investigations.[1] The NCAVC is made up of four units: Behavioral Analysis Unit-1 (Counterterrorism/Threat Assessment), Behavioral Analysis Unit-2 (Crimes Against Adults), Behavioral Analysis Unit-3 (Crimes Against Children), and the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP). The mission of the NCAVC and the BAUs is to provide behavioral based investigative and/or operational support by applying case experience, research, and training to complex and time-sensitive crimes, typically involving acts or threats of violence.

The BAU receives requests for services from federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies. Response to these requests for BAU assistance are facilitated through the network of field NCAVC coordinators. BAU services are provided during on-site case consultations, telephone conference calls, and/or consultations held at the BAU with case investigators. The BAU was brought into mainstream culture by television shows such as Criminal Minds, which depicts an elite group of "FBI profilers" who travel the country assisting local law enforcement on diverse cases. However, contrary to popular belief, there is no such position in the FBI called "profiler", a position commonly seen on television and in cinema.[2]

BAU assistance to law enforcement agencies is provided through the process of "criminal investigative analysis". Criminal investigative analysis is a process of reviewing crimes from both a behavioral and investigative perspective. It involves reviewing and assessing the facts of a criminal act, interpreting offender behavior, and interaction with the victim, as exhibited during the commission of the crime, or as displayed in the crime scene. BAU staff conduct detailed analyses of crimes for the purpose of providing one or more of the following services: crime analysis, investigative suggestions, profiles of unknown offenders, threat analysis, critical incident analysis, interview strategies, major case management, search warrant assistance, prosecutive and trial strategies, and expert testimony.[3]

In addition to the above services, the BAU staff produced the Child Abduction Response Plan to assist investigators faced with these investigations. Recently, the BAU released "The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective" report to guide school administrators, teachers, parents, and law enforcement in identifying and evaluating threats in schools. The BAU maintains a reference file for experts in various forensic disciplines such as odontology, anthropology, entomology, or pathology.[3] The headquarters for the BAU is located in Quantico, Virginia.

Media referencesEdit

The CBS weekly drama series Criminal Minds features the BAU. Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter novels and the corresponding films (The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon) also featured the BAU. The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Signature" (season 9, no. 12, January 8, 2008) heavily features a member of the BAU. Also, in season 5 of the HBO show The Wire two detectives go visit the BAU team in Quantico for a profile of the "fake" serial killer they are investigating.


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