Chicago ATAP Conference Review
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Review of the 17th Annual ATAP Conference

The 17th Annual Threat Management Conference was held at the Disney Hotel and Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, August 14th through 17th. This conference provides a very unique opportunity for the exchange of important and interesting information, techniques, methodology and even innovative legislation that impact the process of threat recognition, assessment and management.

The three core ATAP disciplines of law enforcement, psychology / behavioral sciences and security were well represented both through the presentations and by those in attendance. Further, within given areas of expertise there was a good balance between both the practitioners and researchers, very innovative, cutting edge research and real world applications. This year there were 25 presentations made by 31 presenters.

The scope of this communication precludes sharing all of what was presented. That being the case only a few will be highlighted here. A complete list will be at the end. Note to Chicago ATAP members, RAGE-V will not be highlighted here though it was certainly a highlight of the conference. Jim Cawood, President of ATAP National will be making that presentation at our chapter ATAP meeting September 19th- Be there! Currently there are only a few CD’s of the Conference available to share. Every effort will be made to get additional copies for those attending the September meeting.

Advance Case Management of Threats:
Dr. Frederick (Ted) Calhoun , author of Hunters and Howlers: Threats and Violence Against Judicial Officials in the United States (considered a classic) Lt.Steve Weston, Esq. 31 year veteran CHP and author

Both comprehensive and detailed review of the steps of: determining facts to identify threat, initial assessment, immediate protective actions required, investigation, and development of case specific goals and management plan. Case management options presented, from most to least confrontational. Handled 1200 cases last year. Hunters and Howlers and both inhibitors and triggers to violence presented. Caution on use of restraining orders and emphasis on short "shelf life" of information. Always qualified by "At this time".

Principals of Threat Assessment: Understanding the Path to Violence
Russell Palarea, PhD,NCIS

Review of the steps of grievance, ideation, research, preparation, breach and attack. Discussion of the "intimacy effect" (Reid Malloy) e.g. the closer the interpersonal relationship between the threatener and the threatened, the greater the likelihood of threats being carried out, based upon the threatener’s perception of the relationship which may be very delusional and completely unknown to the threatened. Explanations provided for understanding the goals of the threatener. Are the goals achieved by simply making the threat? If perceived as ineffective may increase the likelihood for action. Typology vs. behavioral based models. Caution about "tunnel vision" (no alternatives perceived by the threatener). Options available for managing threats/threateners

Assessment of Threats to Political Figures
Investigator Edwin Olavi, CHP

10 Indicators (Park Dietz) Mental disorder, exaggerated sense-of-self, inappropriate contact with a public official, random or targeted travel, identification with or idolizing someone of infamy, circumvented security, diary or journal- shows obsession), repeated approaches, fascination with and or acquisition of a weapon. Prior criminal history or prior threat not valuable ingredients in evaluation of dangerousness. Of 43 assassins, none communicated prior threat. Types of threats; direct, conditional, veiled and third party. Behaviors to be concerned about. Inhibiting factors.

Threats and the Internet: Investigative Essentials
Det. Jeff Duggan, LAPD Major Crimes Division

Tracing email: Internet information access. Difference between surface web and deep web. Deep web search software. Reverse email directories.

Forensic Linguistics for Investigative Practitioners: From Threat Assessment to Linguistic Profiling to Authorial Attribution
Dr. Robert Leonard, Hofstra University, substituting for James R. Fitzgerald, FBI

Premise: "(Understanding) language can solve and prevent crime". What does language tell about the writer? Discussion of regionalisms, dialect, idiolect, schema, manipulation of schema, linguistic usage; surface, unintended, intended and manipulative language use. Focus on patterns, not individual features. EX: "ironic repetition", use of same word with a context change, use of contractions, both positive and negative. Dr. Leonard, an internationally recognized authority on psycholinguistics is also the only presenter who played at Woodstock opening for Jimi Hendrix as a member of Sha-Na-Na.

CAMP: Incorporating Mental Health Into Your Solutions
Lt. Richard Wall

Case-Assessment-Management-Program is a program which combines LAPD with the LA Dept of Mental Health. It was created for the express purpose of reducing the police involvement with offenders whose offenses are significantly the result of mental health issues more effectively managed through the involvement of mental health professionals. Lt. Wall, who heads CAMP, works with Maria Accosta , a psychiatric nurse who evaluates and arranges for appropriate support services to prevent the clearly mentally ill from recycling through the criminal justice system. The program has proved a major benefit to all concerned; the community at large, the offenders and the police, whose resources are no longer being expended in an area outside their scope responsibility and expertise. The California legislature provided two key elements of legislation that provide the legal framework for CAMP. CA-5150, provides for an involuntary hold for mental health evaluation and CA-8103, allows/requires confiscation of firearms and prohibition to possess same for 5 years for anyone detained on a 5150.

Managing Difficult Mentally Ill Subjects: Recent Research and Cases
Det. William Zimmerman, U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. David G. Wells, U.S. Capitol Police Mario J. Scalora, University of Nebraska, Consulting Psychologist to USCP

Review of the mandate for Capitol Police; to protect congress, ensuring the safety of its members and their immediate families in Washington D.C. and all 50 states through identification, investigation and management of threats against members of congress. Working as liaison with other law enforcement agencies, hospitals, family and friends. Discussed trends in treats, confidentiality issues/ HIPPA Threat control override symptoms; Case of Jeffery F presented. Ongoing vigilance of subjects, attention to either escalation or de-escalation of symptoms. Importance of gaining signed release forms from subjects.

Assessing Risk From Threatening Communications
Dr. Sharon Smith, Expert in Forensic Psycholinguistics, 25 yr w. FBI, ret. from FBI/BSU Michael Young, Developer of Profiler Plus

Sharon Smith did a 5 year long exhaustive research of communicated threats for the purpose of identifying factors which related reliably to violent actions. This effort which culminated in her doctoral thesis, published last year was the focus of her presentation with Michael Young. The basic hypothesis was that; language features, document features and methods could be associated with outcomes. Over 900 hundred documents were reviewed initially. Only documents of 100 words or more, only first threats and those "closed" for at least 2 years were selected for study. Using political psychology and psycholinguistic tools, 227 variables were evaluated initially. Ultimately, nine variables were demonstrably valuable in relating to a response of : action threatened done, action partially done, approach and stalk, or no action. A predictive equation having a reliability of 93% for both high and low risk has been developed on the basis of this work. Clearly, this has broad value and application; law enforcement, security and military being prime.

Michael Young applied analysis to several models. Most interesting was the political and sports figures. He demonstrated clear recognition of current sports "bad boys" vs. the "good guys" and speculated that pre-signing evaluation ( 5 main factors were used), could save professional sports organizations both money (millions) and their reputations by giving them the means of avoiding signing a troublemaker in the first place.

Bringing it All Together- Application of Threat Assessment Principals
Rachael Solov, Deputy District Attorney, San Diego Wayne Maxley, Commander, San Diego District Attorney’s Office- Investigations

Wayne Maxley presented the clear explanation of the means by which a "neighborhood terrorist", stalker or other threatener could be legally recognized and what legal remedies are available to both the victims as well as police and prosecutors. Several interesting cases were presented.

Rachael Solov, is currently the Deputy District Attorney in San Diego specializing in prosecuting sex crimes and stalking cases. She presented the case of the People vs. James Cain, starting with the background of harassment of and threats made against his last victim, Judith Philips. This was a very moving and poignant presentation, concluding with the reading of a letter written by Judith’s daughter after she was murdered by James Cain. This presentation was especially well placed as the closer. The majority of focus throughout the conference up to the closing was on identifying, evaluating, understanding and managing people who threaten and do bad things. This brought the focus back to the victim, the one we are all aiming to protect.

Other Presentations

Introduction to the Psychology of Stalking
Dr. Kris Mohandi, PhD

Response to the Challenge of Workplace Violence
Glen E. Kraemer, Esq.

Stalking: A Law Enforcement Perspective
Detective Jeff Dunn, LAPD Threat Management Unit

Stalking: A Prosecutor’s View of Case Management
Rachael Solov, Deputy District Attorney,San Diego

Tackling Troubling Issues in Personnel Investigations
Glen E. Kraemer, Esq.

Rage-V: A New Guideline and Tool
James S. Cawood, President, Factor One, ATAP President

Threat Management for Protective Organizations
Chuck Tobin, President, At Risk Protection & Investigations,LLC

Safe School Initiative
Georgeanne Rooney, Threat Specialist
Susan Keverline, Psychologist,U.S.S.S. National Threat Assessment Center

Applying Theory to Practice: An Interactive Group Exercise
Strategic Interactions

Integrated Threat Assessments & Management of Domestic Violence and Stalking Cases: A Canadian First
Valerie J.Campbell, LLB Alberta Relationship and Threat Assessment & Management Initiative

Threats, Lies and Videotape: The Role of Supervision, Intervention and Conflict Management in Preventing Workplace Violence
L.A. Deputy City Attorneys, Vivienne A. Swanigan, and Hugo Rossiter, Emily Williams, Senior Policy Advisor, City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, LAFD

What’s Next
Week of August 18th:
18th Annual Threat Management Conference
Disney Hotel & Convention Center, Anaheim, CA


The ATAP Annual Conference is a major undertaking. The contract for next year has already been signed and very shortly the long list of minutia required to pull it all together into the very worthwhile and enjoyable event attendees have come to expect will be well underway. At least for the present, all management, planning and administrative work is done by volunteers. The call for presentations is the one area where participation is actively solicited from all members. If you have a presentation that you believe would be valuable and interesting to the membership, please submit it. If you do not, feel free to submit your thoughts on issues, questions etc., which you would like to see addressed.

Worth mention, the meals provided by the Disney Hotel are excellent. Each morning huge platters of beautiful fresh fruit (9 varieties) and various kinds of rolls are presented along with many kinds of juice, coffee and tea. Lunch is a salad, hot entrée and desert. During the afternoon break a selection of cookies are served.

After hours, the hospitality suite is open each night of the conference and has a full range of snack type foods, shrimp, sushi, croissant sandwiches, wraps etc. The bar is stocked with soft drinks, various beers, and both white and red wines. The best part of the hospitality suite is an opportunity to relax and get to know the presenters and other attendees who stop by.

Comments and Questions are Welcome:

President Tom Frank,

Vice-President Mike Crane,

Secretary Nancy D. Bourke,