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Threat of Violence
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Violent or Criminal Behavior
Threats may be statements of intention or expressions of strong emotion. They can be indirect or direct, verbal or nonverbal. Shaking a fist or pounding the desk, throwing things, and showing a weapon are all examples of nonverbal threats. Verbal threats may be indirect expressions of frustration or anger directed toward a person or office, or they may be direct statements of the intention to harm. These situations are complex, and it is not expected that individuals will be able to assess whether the threat is serious and might actually lead to harm. However, it is expected that university employees consider any threat or display of hate as potentially serious.
Most people who commit violent acts exhibit warning signs. It is important to take seriously any behaviors or words that imply threat and consult appropriate people to assess the risk and plan interventions.
Everyone is asked to assist in making the campus a safe place by being alert to suspicious situations and promptly reporting them. If you observe a suspicious person on campus, immediately notify University Police at 777-3491 and report the incident. If you observe criminal behavior on campus dial 9-1-1 and report it. Then call Campus Safety with information: 777-3341.
For an Angry or Hostile Customer or Co-worker
- Stay calm.
- Listen attentively.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Be courteous. Be patient. Be respectful.
- Keep the situation in your control.
If Shouting, Swearing and Threatening Continues
- Signal a co-worker or supervisor that you need help. (Have a prearranged code or alarm system.)
- Do not make any calls yourself.
- Have someone call Campus Safety (777-3341) or University Police (777-3491).
If You are Threatened with a Gun, Knife or Other Weapon
- Stay calm. Quietly signal for help using an alarm or code system.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Stall for time.
- Keep talking - but follow instructions from the person who has the weapon.
- Don't risk harm to yourself or others.
- Never try to grab the weapon.
- Watch for a possible chance to escape to a safe area.