MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Secret Service spent Wednesday afternoon teaching a crowded meeting room in Memphis how to prevent, what they call "targeted violence."
Law enforcement, school officials, and church leaders learned how to spot troubling behaviors before attackers strike.
FOX13 was there and learned the Secret Service is now able to predict someone’s risk for violence ahead of time, based on a number of factors.
Take a school shooter, for instance, the Secret Service said there's no profile for a school shooter physically, but combination of stressful events, an interest in violence, and access to weapons are three indications a threat assessment may be needed.
"Targeted violence can occur in work places, places of worship, or in places where we learn; in schools,” said Channing Irvin, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service.
Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.
He told FOX13 they've learned there are certain indicators that someone has a propensity for violence.
"There's a common thread where there's some stressors that the attackers have exhibited," said Irvin.
Wednesday's course was focused on "targeted violence", which the Secret Service defines as three or more injuries, not including the attacker.
We asked Irvin why he believes this course is relevant to the Mid-South.
"We want to get out in front of it. We don't want it to be a prevalent issue,” he answered.
While law enforcement was a majority of the crowd, Irvin says it goes beyond security and is also about community buy-in.
"Law enforcement is one piece of the puzzle. Law enforcement is responsive. A lot of times if it's churches or schools, they've encountered the person, the attacker before they became a problem."
According to Irvin, this training is different from other methods because, "we've pioneered the threat assessment model, and we're taking that to say, 'we are the Secret Service. We're protecting the president. We conduct our threat assessments. We want to introduce that to the community,” he explained.
We spoke with Bob Nations, the Chief Inspector of Homeland Security and Intel Analysis at the Shelby County Sheriff's Office after the meeting wrapped.
© 2019 Cox Media Group