Scenario 2c: a teacher tells an officer about her student's father who talks about killing himself "like the people who flew planes into buildings.".
Problem: A rapid response is required in order to do risk assessment. This assumes that the local law enforcement has a good relationship with the FBI. And, whereas there is likely to be an arranged vehicle for information sharing in large cities, this may not be the case for small cities or towns.
Strategies: This is an instance where systems that are designed to facilitate communication across agencies (groups, services, locales) are needed. Such systems have been designed and are currently being evaluated. If no such system is available, and if local law enforcement has no standing relationship with the FBI, it is suggested that the strategies offered for Scenario 3a, which describe some rules to follow for collection of information from members of a Muslim community, would be useful. If the father and family came from another "foreign country," such as Indonesia, these rules would have to be modified according to the local customs of that country.
Problem: This scenario is similar to Scenario 2a in that is raises the question of how persons in positions of some confidence should provide information to law enforcement. Here, the question is what should rise to the level of reporting for teachers and social services?
Strategies: It was suggested that the APA might develop guidelines for such reporting, and offer these to other agencies (school systems, social services), where appropriate.
Problem: How can intelligence or law enforcement agencies share information and still protect their source?
Strategies: It was agreed that this has been and remains a primary problem for intelligence gathering agencies. The problem may be of even more concern to the FBI in the immediate future than it has been in the past, because of the increased efforts that recently have been mandated within the Bureau regarding the management of secret intelligence information
Implications for practice, training and research:
The social and behavioral sciences can aid in understanding this kind of person in more depth--his motivations and possible behaviors--and making such information available to law enforcement in a manner that would allow them to use the information without violating civil rights or resorting to profiling or stereotyping.
Risk assessments rely on data about baselines of normal behavior within populations, so that abnormal behavior may be clearly distinguished, but there are few data about violence, for example, in Arab- and Muslim-American populations. In order to conduct timely, appropriate risk assessments, law enforcement must have access to information on minority communities, what their experiences suggest in terms of motivations and behavior, and effective engagement with these communities and their citizens.
It was generally agreed that previous attempts to offer alternative models of information management to intelligence agencies and/or law enforcement have been viewed as unworkable, and that this problem deserves additional attention on the part of social scientists who deal with artificial intelligence networks, modeling of information systems, human cognition, and human perception under conditions of stress and duress. Such work is currently underway. Notably, such a system would have to be created and evaluated with the full partnership of those agencies that need might use such a system.
If multiple agencies (law enforcement, child protective services) become involved with a family, clearly there is a need for some level of collaboration or at least communication to avoid inadvertent, negative effects on the family and any investigation underway.