- You are specifically discouraged from engaging in any physical confrontation with a violent or potentially violent individual.
- Exercise reasonable judgment in identifying potentially dangerous situations.
Signs of Impending Violence
Mental health experts state that prior to any physical act of violence, there may be behaviors or signs that coworkers exhibit:
- Overt resentment, anger and hostility
- Extreme stress or agitation
- Ominous threats, such as that bad things will happen to a particular person or a catastrophic event will befall someone
- Sudden and significant decline in work performance
- Discipline in the recent past for behavior-related incidents
- Irresponsible, irrational, intimidating, aggressive or otherwise inappropriate behavior
- Reacting to questions with an antagonistic or overtly negative attitude
- Discussing weapons and their use, and/or brandishing weapons on campus
- Overreacting or reacting harshly to changes in policies and procedures
- Frequent personality conflicts with coworkers or students
- Obsession or preoccupation with a coworker, supervisor or student
- Attempts to sabotage the work or equipment of a coworker or student
- Blaming others for mistakes
- Demonstrating a propensity to behave and react irrationally
Generally, violence on college campuses is committed by members of the community. It is up to the community to see the warning signs and take action before violence occurs. Classmates and employees are in the best position to see changes in personality that may indicate the potential of violence:
- Changes in personality
- Changes in hair, clothing styles and/or hygiene
- A marked decrease in work or academic performance
- Alienation of friends and family
- Previous criminal history or contact with law enforcement
- Acts of aggression
- Dark writings, drawings or utterances
- Blames others for personal situations
- Wants to avenge wrongs done to others
- Views everyone as guilty
- Fascination with weapons
- Possession of or access to weapons
- Poor social skills
- Feels unappreciated
- Feels superior
- Reports being bullied
- A sense of no way out of current situation
- An increase in the frequency and intensity of behaviors
Threats, threatening language, or any other acts of aggression or violence made toward or by any employee or student will not be tolerated. A threat includes any verbal or physical harassment or abuse, attempts at intimidating or instilling fear in others, menacing gestures, flashing of weapons, stalking, or any other hostile, aggressive, injurious and/or destructive actions undertaken for the purpose of domination or intimidation.
If You See or Hear a Hostage Situation
- Immediately remove yourself from danger; do not attempt to intervene.
- Immediately call 911 or Samford University Police at (205) 726-2020.
- Be prepared to give the following information:
- Location and room number of incident
- Number of hostage takers
- Physical description and names of hostage takers
- Number of hostages
- Weapons used
- Your name
- Your location and phone number
- Prevent others from entering the situation.
If You Are Taken Hostage
- Remain calm and alert.
- Be observant so that you can provide details to authorities.
- Do not become argumentative or hostile.
- If it is necessary to speak, ask permission first; maintain eye contact but do not stare.
- Don’t talk down to your captors; treat them with respect.
- Listen to your captives. Attempt to get them to talk about themselves, but let them volunteer information.
- Understand that captors may abuse you, lie to you or attempt to brainwash you. They may tell you that you have been abandoned — this is not true.
- Help will arrive. You are on the minds of hundreds of people who will not forget you or give up looking for you.
If you receive a bomb threat by phone, remember these guidelines:
- Remain calm. When the bomb threat is received, the person taking the call must remain calm and obtain as much information as possible.
- The person taking the call should immediately notify another employee in the office while the caller is on the line.
- Call 911 or Samford University Police at (205) 726-2020
- Do not put the caller on hold.
- Do not attempt to transfer the call.
- Pay attention to the caller’s words:
- Does the caller have any distinguishing voice characteristics such as an accent, stutter or mispronunciations?
- Is the caller angry, excited, irrational or agitated?
- Is the caller a male or female; young, middle-aged or old?
- If you have caller ID, note the phone number of the caller.
- Listen for background noises (traffic, train whistle, music, television, etc.)
- Document all that you know and hear.
Questions to Ask the Caller
- When is the bomb going to explode?
- Where is the bomb located?
- What kind of bomb is it?
- What does it look like?
- Who placed the bomb?
- Why was the bomb placed?
- Where are you calling from?
- Remain calm — do not panic.
- Notify Samford University Police at (205) 726-2020, your resident assistant or an employee of the suspicious intruder.
- Note the intruder’s height, weight, hair color, clothing, gender, complexion or distinguishing characteristics.
- If you discover that a theft has occurred, ensure that the thief is no longer on the premises.
- Report to your resident assistant, someone in management and Samford University Police at (205) 726-2020 immediately.
- Identify all missing articles as soon as possible and document what is missing for police records.
Procedures for Reporting a Threat
- All potentially dangerous situations, including threats by coworkers or students, should be reported immediately to your resident assistant, director of human resources or other member of management, or an employee with whom you feel comfortable.
- Reports of threats may be made anonymously. All reports are promptly investigated. No employee will be subject to retaliation, intimidation or discipline as a result of reporting a threat in good faith.
- If an investigation confirms that a threat of a violent act or violence itself has occurred, Samford University will take swift appropriate corrective action with regard to the offending employee or student.
Observing one of these behaviors does not necessarily indicate a threat of violence, but if you have a concern about a member of the community, reporting these behavioral indicators is important in reducing the potential for violence. If you observe these indicators, especially in combination with others, it is important to notify one of the following departments: