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What Is The NCAVC On Criminal Minds: Evolution?

Just two years after CBS canceled "Criminal Minds," the BAU team is already returning to action, now on Paramount+. That's not entirely surprising given how popular the nerve-shredding procedural was during its 15-season primetime tenure. There's little reason to think the series' sequel "Criminal Minds: Evolution" won't find just as devoted an audience for its 10-episode run on the Paramount+ streaming platform — even if long-time fans are certain to miss the likes of original series' star Matthew Gray Gubler, who opted out of returning as Dr. Spencer Reid for the revival (per TVLine).

Still, fans will no doubt be delighted by the return of his old castmates Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster, A.J. Cook, Kristen Vangsness, and Aisha Tyler, among others. The first trailer for "Criminal Minds: Evolution" makes clear the Federal Bureau of Investigation's crack team of profilers has reassembled for a case that's arguably bigger, bloodier, and deadlier than any they've ever encountered. As it is, that case will likely put the BAU team right in the line of fire, and they'll no doubt need a little help from their FBI comrades.

Seems they'll find all the help they need in the bureau's NCAVC. But if you're anything like us, you probably have no idea what that actually is. Let's take a look.

Seems the BAU is only one faction within a larger investigative network in the FBI

Before we get into what the NCAVC is, a brief refresher about the BAU may be in order. Those letters stand for Behavioral Analysis Unit, marking a division of the FBI dedicated to developing criminal profiles that are used in identifying and capturing the country's most dangerous killers. The BAU has, of course, long been the focus of the "Criminal Minds" narrative, but "Criminal Minds: Evolution" is set to expand the bureau's investigative scope by folding in the NCAVC.

That shouldn't be hard, as the NCAVC has essentially always been a part of the series' narrative because the BAU is actually one division within it. Regarding the acronym, per the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, "NCAVC" stands for "National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime." The BAU is one of three divisions within the NCAVC, along with the Child Abduction and Serial Murder Investigative Resources Center (CASMIRC), and the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP).

According to the bureau's mission statement, the NCAVC is designed specifically "to combine investigative and operational support functions, research, and training in order to provide assistance, without charge, to federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies investigating unusual or repetitive violent crimes. The NCAVC also provides support through expertise and consultation in non-violent matters such as national security, corruption, and white-collar crime investigations." 

If you've watched the "Criminal Minds: Evolution" trailer, you know why all three divisions will likely come into play for the coming case. And it should be fascinating to watch the BAU crew work in conjunction with their FBI counterparts.