Threatening or Suspicious Activity

What to do if you see or experience

Threatening or suspicious activity

Prevention

  • Control or limit access to work areas, limit areas to authorized persons and during non-business hours
  • Lock desk, cabinets, storage and office doors
  • Ensure front office or reception areas are always staffed
  • Ask all staff to wear their PSU ID badge in a visible location
  • DO NOT leave belongings unattended
  • Offer assistance to strangers or unfamiliar persons
  • Acknowledge co-workers

Response

Threatening Behavior

If you find yourself engaging with someone exhibiting threatening behaviors, communication is critical. When possible, use these de-escalation tips to help navigate the situation.

  • Remain as calm as possible, avoid overreacting
  • Be non-judgemental in your verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Ignore challenging questions and behaviors
  • Respect personal space by keeping distance between you
  • Allow silence for reflection on the situation, both for yourself and the person exhibiting threatening behavior
  • Attempt to exit the encounter by
  • Offering to go get a co-worker to join the conversation (which will make sure you are not alone) or suggest the person seeks a different campus resource that might have more resources
  • Asking to schedule a formal time to meet, or to reschedule until all have calmed down

Phone or Digital Threats

Often, these types of threats may seem like a joke or spam, but you should still treat these as a genuine threat, and report them, even if you are not sure what the person’s intent is.

If you find an emailed, social media, or other digital threat:

  • Keep it accessible or take a photo
  • Notify CPSO at 5-5911

If someone calls in a threat:

  • If you are able to do so, record the call
  • Write exactly what the caller says— ask them to repeat the information
  • Try to keep the caller speaking - ask questions if necessary
  • Write down any background noises (other voices, cars, music, etc)
  • Write down any distinct characteristics of the callers voice (tone, emotion, dialect, etc)
  • If the caller hangs up, keep your end of the call active if possible (cell phones may automatically disconnect)
  • Write down the duration of the call and when the call ended

Points of Contact

Call or text: 911
PSU Emergency: 503-725-5911
PSU Non-Emergency: 503-725-4407