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Erie County Sheriff’s Office creates Behavioral Threat Assessment Team

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Posted at 4:22 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-09 16:22:01-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Sheriff's office announced Thursday the formation of the Behavioral Threat Assessment Team.

The mission of this group , according to the sheriff's office, is to form a team with diverse expertise and access to resources dedicated to identifying and closing threat gaps in Buffalo and Erie County. This group will act as a central clearinghouse of information, the team will provide consultation on how to initiate interventions and case management strategies specific to situations with a significant risk of targeted violence.

The formation of this team comes in the wake of the racially-motivated mass shooting on May 14.

Sheriff John C. Garcia said, “Following the evil attack against innocent people at the Tops market, we learned that the perpetrator fell through a crack. Today I am announcing the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and our partners are beginning to fill in some of those cracks with the formation of this team."

The Sheriff’s Office plans to partner with representatives from local and tribal law enforcement agencies, school districts, colleges, universities, community-based organizations, religious communities, health and wellness organizations, business groups, and corporations to participate in the threat assessment team.

“This team will look for indicators such as social media postings, pre-operational activities, and fringe ideologies to identify individuals and disrupt their violent plans,” said Sheriff Garcia.

Any group interested in participating in the Behavioral Threat Assessment Team should email the Erie County Sheriff’s Office at sheriff@erie.gov.