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Victim-Centric Mass Violence Incident After Action Report: Recommendations and Template

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2021
12 pages

After an overview of After Action Reports (AARs) for mass-violence incidents (MVIs), this report summarizes findings from a previous review of AARs for MVIs in the past 15 years conducted by the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVVRC), followed by a model AAR template that includes comprehensive victim services and mental/behavioral health components.


AARs from past MVIs provide a retrospective analysis of all actions in responding to a MVI. AARs are typically commissioned by a local, state, or federal governmental body to be written by the lead law enforcement agency that responded to the MVI, by FEMA, or by an outside contracted consultant. Historically, comprehensive reports have taken 1-2 years to complete. The review of MVI AARs commissioned by the NMVVRC identifies mental health and other victim services information included in MVI AARs. Although the AARs reviewed typically discuss incident timeline, tactical operations, and operational communications, summaries of victim services were rarely included; however, AARs that did mention victim services provided valuable recommendations for improving preparedness and responses that would better serve victims of MVIs. To meet victims’ mental health needs immediately following MVIs, AARs suggested implementing a “disaster mental health response team” and/or walk-in mental health clinics, with well-vetted clinicians trained to respond to the acute mental health needs of victims, family members, first responders, and agency professionals.  At the community level, it was recommended that community leaders familiarize themselves with federal emergency declaration procedures, identify grants that could support victims and communities affected by MVIs, and determine which agency will take the lead in coordinating victim services across all agencies involved in the MVI response. The template provided in this report suggests topics related to victim services that should be included in an MVI AAR.

Date Published: July 1, 2021