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Joint criminal and epidemiological investigation handbook. 2016 international edition
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    Introduction -- Public Health -- Law Enforcement -- Joint Investigations -- Summary -- Appendices: Sample Joint Criminal-Epidemiological Investigations Material: ; Appendix 1: Sample Procedure for a Joint Threat Assessment; Appendix 2: Sample Procedure for Joint Interviews; Appendix 3: Sample Joint Interview Questions; Reference Material: Appendix 4: Role of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Appendix 5: U.S. Bio-Related Laws to Prevent Bioterrorism; Appendix 6: U.S. 2014 List of Select Agents and Toxins; Appendix 7: U.S. National Response Framework; Appendix 8: International Obligations; Appendix 9: Common Public Health and Law Enforcement Terminology.

    Terrorists have demonstrated their willingness to employ non-traditional weapons to achieve their desired outcomes. One such class of these weapons is biological agents, which pose challenges to both law enforcement and public health due to their unique characteristics. Since biological agents are often endemic or naturally occurring in the environment, an intentional release of a pathogen may be initially difficult to discern from a natural event, and efforts to respond to the attack and apprehend those responsible may be delayed.

    In the past, it was common for law enforcement and public health to conduct separate and independent investigations. Due to the challenges posed by a biological threat, an effective response calls for a high level of cooperation between these two disciplines. The lack of mutual awareness and understanding, as well as the absence of established communication procedures, could limit the effectiveness of these disciplines’ separate, but often overlapping, investigations. The effective use of all resources during a suspicious biological incident is critical to maximizing an efficient and appropriate response.

    By working together, public health and law enforcement can achieve their shared objectives of identifying the biological agent, preventing the spread of the disease, preventing public panic, and apprehending those responsible.

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