Attending to Victims & Victim Identification

Targeted Violence/Active Threat

Attending to Victims & Victim Identification

Whether directing victims during an active threat situation, caring for victims once the threat is neutralized, or speaking with victims’ families in the aftermath, an officer’s body language, verbal cues, and response make an impression on victims of crime and communities that have been impacted by a tragedy. Victims look to officers for calm, reassurance, and hope. Proper and clear communication is imperative in gaining trust and cooperation and in ensuring active threat situations are handled in a controlled and effective manner.

Unfortunately, these incidents often necessitate that officers deal with mass numbers of casualties within harrowing environments. In addition to interacting with the wounded, officers must be trained in proper procedure for identifying and handling the deceased until coroners arrive on scene.

Long after the threat is neutralized, victims and communities will continue to feel its effects. Every sworn and non-sworn law enforcement employee plays a key role in response to victims and the community as a whole.




IACP Model Policy – Response to Victims of Crime


The purpose of this policy is to emphasize that an effective response to the needs of crime victims is an integral part of the law enforcement mission. This essential function should address victims’ needs by establishing a continuum of support and resources as victims progress through the various phases of the criminal justice process.

Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims: 21st Century Strategy


The 21st Century Strategy introduces state, local, and tribal law enforcement leaders to the benefits to, challenges of, and methods and responsibilities for enhancing their response to victims of crime.

Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims: Implementation Guide


The Implementation Guide consists of four instructive sections, which outline the steps to implement the strategy.

Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims: Resource Toolkit


The Resource Toolkit contains templates that assist in following the Implementation Guide listed above.

Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims: Training Supplement


The Training Supplement is designed to assist in an effort to train law enforcement personnel, from recruit to executive, to be knowledgeable about victims’ rights, sensitive to their needs, and familiar with victim services.

First Response to Victims of Crime


This guidebook offers valuable, user-friendly information for law enforcement on how to respond to a wide range of victims. It attempts to highlight the most salient issues involved for victims of certain crimes and for certain populations of victims.

Responding to Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence Crimes

OVC, American Red Cross

This booklet provides information about crime victims’ rights and needs, how to assist victims of terrorism and mass violence crimes, OVC’s services, and types of crime victim assistance and services.

Mass Fatality Incidents: A Guide for Human Forensic Identification


The procedures presented in this guide can help medical examiners and coroners fulfill their legal duties even when the number of victims exceeds their agency’s daily operating capacity.

Lessons Learned From 9/11: DNA Identification in Mass Fatality Incidents


This guide will help U.S. forensic laboratories—whether called upon to identify victims of a major natural disaster, transportation accident, or terrorist attack—prepare for a mass fatality incident.

Enhancing Scene Processing Protocols to Improve Victim Identification and Field Detection of Human Remains in Mass Fatality Scenes

NIJ, Mercyhurst College

The primary purpose of this study was to significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of forensic “processing” of large-scale crime scenes, and specifically those resulting from mass fatality incidents.


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