The Joint Criminal and Epidemiological Investigations Handbook facilitates the use of resources to maximize communication and interaction among law enforcement and public health in an effort to minimize potential barriers during a response to a biological threat. The main goals of a joint investigation are identifying the biological agent, preventing the spread of the disease, preventing public panic, and apprehending those responsible. The handbook was designed to help each community understand their strengths in achieving these goals and responding to a threat. The handbook specifically encourages practitioners from law enforcement and public health to read the guidelines in their entirety and not just focus on the sections related to their expertise.
The Handbook is jointly published by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (US FBI) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). They publish both a domestic handbook, which was most recently updated in 2018, and an international handbook which was updated in 2016. Both handbooks are published in English. The US FBI is the principal federal law enforcement agency in the United States and serves as one of the nation’s leading organizations on matters related to couter-terrorism and counterintelligence. The US CDC is the principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and a leader in promoting activities associated with the medical and public health response to a biological incident.