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Areas of Expertise
  • Violence Threat Risk Assessment

  • Case Management Suggestions

  • Victim Safety Planning


Waterloo, ON

Office - Phone


Debra Heaton

Threat Risk Assessor

Debra Heaton is a Violence Threat Risk Assessor and licenced private investigator with Investigative Solutions Network Inc. (ISN). Debra retired from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) following a 30-year career with a focus on behavioural analysis, criminal investigations, supervision and management. She spent 18 years working in the area of behavioural sciences.

As a Detective, Debra was responsible for investigating and supporting officers during major crimes investigations including homicides, sexual assaults and robberies. She assisted in the development of the Interviewing of Child Victims of Sexual Assault course for police officers and Children’s Aid Society workers, providing training to police and social workers throughout Ontario.

Debra was the manager of the OPP Threat Assessment Unit, providing threat assessments and case management suggestions to police services throughout Ontario and across Canada. She has received extensive and ongoing training and certification in the use of structured professional judgement and actuarial risk assessment tools and theories. She has extensive experience as a violence threat risk assessor in relation to workplace violence, sexual offenders, threats to judiciary/public officials, stalking, domestic violence, school violence, threatening correspondence, general violence and other instances of targeted violence. She has completed over 900 violence risk assessments, and has been qualified to provide expert testimony regarding threat assessment in Ontario Superior Court. She has also been identified as an “Expert-Police Specialist” in the Department of Justice publication, “Criminal Harassment: A Handbook for Police and Crown Prosecutors”.

She served as a Violent Crimes Analyst and Supervisor in the Province of Ontario Violent Crime Linkage and Analysis System (ViCLAS) Centre, where she was responsible for the behavioural analysis and linkage of violent crime.

Debra assisted in the development and implementation of Canada’s first sex offender registry, the Ontario Sex Offender Registry. She provided training and support in its usage to police throughout Ontario.

As a manager Debra was responsible for the services provided to police agencies by the Ontario Provincial Police Criminal Behaviour Analysis Unit (CBAU), consisting of Threat Assessment, Criminal Profiling, Polygraph, Forensic Psychiatry and Research. When managing this highly specialized Unit she consulted on major investigations and determined the appropriate services required. She regularly provided instruction to police Major Case Managers at the Ontario Police College and throughout Ontario.

Debra served as a member of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee- Office of the Chief Coroner, consulting with multi-disciplinary experts in reviewing domestic violence related deaths and providing recommendations to reduce systemic failures.

Debra is a recipient of the Police Exemplary Service Medal and the Commissioner’s Coin for leadership.

She is currently a member of the Canadian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (CATAP)

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