CAH attends the Northeast DHS Conference on Preventing Targeted Violence

June 25, 2024

Building the Northeast Network: A Regional Symposium to Prevent Domestic Terrorism and Targeted Violence was held on April 18th -19th in New York City at John Jay College. There were attendees from government, healthcare, law enforcement, academia, community organizations to provide insight, expertise, and recommendations as an interdisciplinary approach to assess and prevent targeted violence.

Commissioner Jackie Bray, from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, emphasized the importance of "de-exoticizing violent extremism" and adopting a public health approach. This method prioritizes behavior change to prevent violence before it occurs.

Experts at the conference, including Jeffrey Coots, director, From Punishment to Public Health at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, identified socially isolated individuals with deep grievances as those most at risk. Early intervention and referral to behavioral health services were presented as promising methods to prevent violence. Dr. Jack Rozel, MD, MSL, DFAPA, from the University of Pittsburgh, stressed the need for widespread bystander training. He compared it to CPR training, highlighting the importance of broad public awareness in identifying and responding to potential threats. Laura Ellsworth, partner from Jones Day, and founding co-chair of the Eradicate Hate Global Summit, advocated for educating the public with simple and actionable tools. She called for a "hate Heimlich maneuver" to empower bystanders to intervene effectively when faced with threats of violence.

Daveed Granstein-Ross, founder and CEO from Valens Global, participated on a panel discussing ideological convergence in violent extremism and how these can conflict with an individual's set of beliefs. Elizabeth Neuman, chief strategy officer from Moonshot, added how interactions have shifted with individuals with having instant communications across multiple channels which mixed ideologies can become intertwined. There is an importance to look towards behavior in these instances instead of a singular lens of ideologies.

While there is more research needed, this conference provided an engaging environment to build relationships towards the goal of understanding targeted violence for further prevention.

Join the effort.