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Behavioral Analysis Unit

Behavioral Analysis Unit

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The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is a component of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime
National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime
In November 1982, following a meeting between members of the Criminal Personality Research Project advisory board and other specialists, the concept of a single ' was put forward. This elite investigative branch was never envisaged as a replacement for traditional crime investigation by local law...

 (NCAVC) that uses behavioral sciences to assist in criminal investigations. 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 crime
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

s, typically involving acts or threats of violence
Violence
Violence is the use of physical force to apply a state to others contrary to their wishes. violence, while often a stand-alone issue, is often the culmination of other kinds of conflict, e.g...

.
  • Crimes Against Children
  • Crimes Against Adults
  • Communicated Threats
  • Corruption
    Corruption
    Corruption usually refers to spiritual or moral impurity.Corruption may also refer to:* Corruption , an American crime film* Corruption , a British horror film...

  • Bombing and Arson
    Arson
    Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

     Investigations
  • Sexual crimes


The BAU receives requests for services from federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

. In respondence 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 call
Conference call
A conference call is a telephone call in which the calling party wishes to have more than one called party listen in to the audio portion of the call. The conference calls may be designed to allow the called party to participate during the call, or the call may be set up so that the called party...

s, and/or consultations held at the BAU with case investigators. The BAU was brought into mainstream culture by television shows such as Criminal Minds
Criminal Minds
Criminal Minds is an American police procedural drama that premiered September 22, 2005, on CBS. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia. The BAU is part of the FBI National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime...

, 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.

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
Behavior
Behavior or behaviour refers to the actions and mannerisms made by organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with its environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment...

, and interaction with the victim, as exhibited during the commission of the crime, or as displayed in the crime scene
Crime scene
A crime scene is a location where an illegal act took place, and comprises the area from which most of the physical evidence is retrieved by trained law enforcement personnel, crime scene investigators or in rare circumstances, forensic scientists....

. BAU staff conduct detailed analyses of crimes for the purpose of providing one or more of the following services: crime analysis
Crime analysis
Crime analysis is a law enforcement function that involves systematic analysis for identifying and analyzing patterns and trends in [crime] and disorder. Information on patterns can help law enforcement agencies deploy resources in a more effective manner, and assist detectives in identifying and...

, investigative suggestions, profiles of unknown offenders, threat analysis, critical incident analysis, interview strategies, major case management, search warrant
Search warrant
A search warrant is a court order issued by a Magistrate, judge or Supreme Court Official that authorizes law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a crime and to confiscate evidence if it is found....

 assistance, prosecutive and trial strategies, and expert testimony.

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, teacher
Teacher
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...

s, parent
Parent
A parent is a caretaker of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is of a child . Children can have one or more parents, but they must have two biological parents. Biological parents consist of the male who sired the child and the female who gave birth to the child...

s, 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
Forensic anthropology
Forensic anthropology is the application of the science of physical anthropology and human osteology in a legal setting, most often in criminal cases where the victim's remains are in the advanced stages of decomposition. A forensic anthropologist can assist in the identification of deceased...

, entomology
Forensic entomology
Forensic entomology is the application and study of insect and other arthropod biology to criminal matters. It is primarily associated with death investigations; however, it may also be used to detect drugs and poisons, determine the location of an incident, and find the presence and time of the...

, or pathology
Forensic pathology
Forensic pathology is a branch of pathology concerned with determining the cause of death by examination of a corpse. The autopsy is performed by the pathologist at the request of a coroner or medical examiner usually during the investigation of criminal law cases and civil law cases in some...

. The headquarters for the BAU is located in Quantico, Virginia
Quantico, Virginia
- Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there are 561 people, 295 households, and 107 families living in the town. The population density is . There are 359 housing units at an average density of .-Racial composition:...

.

Media references


The CBS weekly drama series Criminal Minds
Criminal Minds
Criminal Minds is an American police procedural drama that premiered September 22, 2005, on CBS. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia. The BAU is part of the FBI National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime...

and its spinoff
Spin-off (media)
In media, a spin-off is a radio program, television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work...

, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior was an American police procedural drama on CBS. The show debuted in 2011 as a spin-off from the successful Criminal Minds, which premiered in 2005. This edition's profiling team also works for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Behavioral Analysis Unit in...

both feature the BAU. Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris is an American author and screenwriter, best known for a series of suspense novels about his most famous character, Hannibal Lecter...

' Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal Lecter M.D. is a fictional character in a series of horror novels by Thomas Harris and in the films adapted from them.Lecter was introduced in the 1981 thriller novel Red Dragon as a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer...

 novels and the corresponding films (The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal
Hannibal (film)
Hannibal is a 2001 psychological thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the Thomas Harris novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The Silence of the Lambs that returns Anthony Hopkins to his iconic role as serial killer Hannibal Lecter...

and Red Dragon
Red Dragon (film)
Red Dragon is a 2002 thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel of the same name and featuring psychiatrist and serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. It is a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs....

) featured the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU), which later created and developed what eventually became known as the BAU as a stand-alone unit within the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC). The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is an American police procedural television drama series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced...

episode "Signature" (season 9, no. 12
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (season 9)
This page contains a list of episodes for season 9 of the television series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.-Cast:*Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler*Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson*Richard Belzer as Sgt. John Munch...

, January 8, 2008) heavily features a member of the BAU. Also, in season 5 of the HBO show The Wire
The WIRE
the WIRE is the student-run College radio station at the University of Oklahoma, broadcasting in a freeform format. The WIRE serves the University of Oklahoma and surrounding communities, and is staffed by student DJs. The WIRE broadcasts at 1710 kHz AM in Norman, Oklahoma...

two detectives go visit the BAU team in Quantico
Clarifications
"Clarifications" is the eighth episode of the fifth season of the HBO original series, The Wire. The episode was written by Dennis Lehane from a story by David Simon and Dennis Lehane and was directed by Anthony Hemingway...

for a profile of the "fake" serial killer they are investigating.