In an effort to further its mission to advance public safety through innovation and science, the Police Foundation – a national, non-partisan, non-profit research organization – is establishing the Center for Mass Violence Response Studies, which will prepare public safety, government, school, business and community leaders to think critically about mass violence events, which will help them develop and implement comprehensive prevention, response and recovery strategies.

According to a Police Foundation statement: “During the last decade, persons motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and individual factors have engaged in acts of mass violence targeting innocent civilians in communities across the United States. Mass violence attacks, incidents in which multiple persons are killed or injured, have increased in frequency and lethality. While incidents of mass violence, including terrorist events and school shootings, remain relatively infrequent, their effects are devastating for the survivors, families of victims, communities, first responders and the country. For public safety officials, these incidents represent crises that challenge emergency response protocols and demand actionable research to inform policies and practices.

“The Center for Mass Violence Response Studies will leverage the Police Foundation’s expertise and its unique position as an independent organization to advise federal, state, and local public safety officials regarding the response to mass violence events. The Center will conduct objective policy-relevant research, critical incident reviews, and provide training and technical assistance to inform strategic thinking, expand knowledge, and advance public safety policies and practices.”

Dr. Frank Straub, the Police Foundation’s Director of Strategic Studies, oversees the Foundation’s public safety, terrorism, school safety and youth violence initiatives, and he will lead the center for Mass Violence Response Studies.