The mission of the BAU is to provide behavioral based investigative and/or operational support by applying case experience, research, and training to complex and time-sensitive crimes, typically involving acts or threats of violence. The program areas addressed include Crimes Against Children, Crimes Against Adults, Communicated Threats, Corruption, and Bombing and Arson Investigations. The BAU receives requests for services from Federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies. Response to these requests for BAU assistance are facilitated through the network of field NCAVC coordinators. BAU services are provided during on-site case consultations, telephone conference calls, and/or consultations held at the BAU with case investigators. However, contrary to popular belief, there is no such position in the FBI called "profiler", a position commonly seen on television and in cinema.
BAU assistance to law enforcement agencies is provided through the process of "criminal investigative analysis". Criminal investigative analysis is a process of reviewing crimes from both a behavioral and investigative perspective. It involves reviewing and assessing the facts of a criminal act, interpreting offender behavior, and interaction with the victim, as exhibited during the commission of the crime, or as displayed in the crime scene. BAU staff conduct detailed analyses of crimes for the purpose of providing one or more of the following services: crime analysis, investigative suggestions, profiles of unknown offenders, threat analysis, critical incident analysis, interview strategies, major case management, search warrant assistance, prosecutive and trial strategies, and expert testimony.
The BAU maintains a reference file for experts in various forensic disciplines such as odontology, anthropology, entomology, or pathology.
The BAU may become involved in a serial criminal investigation for a variety of reasons. These may include:
- The State, County, and/or Local Authorities are unable to gain any headway in a serial crime case
- Exemption: Illinois and California have their own State Bureaus of Investigation but may still request assistance, if needed
- The criminal(s) cross(es) state lines
- The criminal(s) cross(es) into any other country in the Americas
- If passing to an overseas location, Interpol has jurisdiction
- The offender(s) is already on the FBI's wanted list
- There are suspicions of terrorist activity; in which case, multiple branches of the FBI may be involved (including the Counter-Terrorism Unit)
Child Abduction Response PlanEdit
In addition to the above services, the BAU staff produced the Child Abduction Response Plan to assist investigators faced with these investigations. Recently, the BAU released "The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective" report to guide school administrators, teachers, parents, and law enforcement in identifying and evaluating threats in schools.
The series features a fictionalized group of BAU investigators.
Chain of CommandEdit
- Erin Strauss - BAU Section Chief who stepped down from her original position of Section Chief during Season Six for unspecified reasons. In the episode, "Self-Fulfiling Prophecy", she checked into rehab for drinking while on the job. Since season 8 she has returned to her supervising position.
- SSA Aaron Hotchner - BAU Unit Chief who temporarily stepped down from Unit Chief due to Season Five events. Was later promoted to temporary Section Chief after Erin Strauss stepped down and as a result of Strauss's resignation, has gained the Section Chief position on a permanent basis.
- SSA David Rossi - Current Unit Senior Agent.
- SSA Derek Morgan.- Was temporarily promoted to Unit Chief by Agent Hotchner who then stepped down to Senior SSA/Advisor. Has since returned to his original role on the team.
- SSA Spencer Reid.
- SSA Jennifer Jareau- Former Communications Director/Media Liaison Officer. Is now a full-time profiler, having received the training required.
- SA Penelope Garcia - Technical Analyst and now the Communications Director, a role she shares with Hotch.
- SA Kevin Lynch - Assists the BAU when Garcia is unavailable or requests his help, though is not an official team member.
- SSA Alex Blake - Joined the team after Emily Prentiss left and took a position at Interpol's London Office.
- SSA Jason Gideon - Unit Senior Agent and the former head of the team who retired due to the fact that he couldn't cope with the stresses of the job anymore and alse because he hadn't fully recovered over his girlfriend, Sarah Jacobs by serial killer Frank Breitkopf.
- SSA Elle Greenaway- Resigned over the fact that she had killed a serial rapist despite claiming self-defense for her actions.
- Ashley Seaver - Became part of the BAU as a probationary agent but was transferred to a different unit when that period of her formation ended.
- SSA Emily Prentiss- Supervisory Special Agent who joined the team after Elle Greenaway resigned. Left the team to take a position at Interpol's London office after being encouraged by her former handler and team leader as well as not connecting with the team any more.