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Bomb Threats and Suspicious Packages

Bomb threat

Immediately call University Police after receiving a bomb threat. In most cases, bomb threats will be received by telephone. University Police will determine if evacuation or other action is necessary.

If you receive a telephoned threat:

  • Remain calm and get as much information as possible.
  • If possible, signal another person and write a note explaining that the call is a bomb threat. The other person should then alert University Police.
  • Note the exact time of the call and attempt to write down the exact words of the caller.

Ask the caller:

  • When is the bomb set to explode?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • Where is it located?
  • What does it look like?
  • Who are you?
  • Why are you doing this?

If you receive a written bomb threat, do not handle it any more than necessary. Place it in an envelope to preserve possible fingerprints.

Suspicious packages

Suspicious packages can come in all shapes and sizes. In general terms, a suspicious package is any bag, box, backpack, package or other item left unattended or that otherwise seems out of place. For example, a package on a mailroom counter is not necessarily suspicious. But place that same unattended package on a train station platform, it becomes suspicious.

Suspicious packages should be immediately reported to University Police. We will determine if evacuation or other action is necessary.

Characteristics of suspicious letters and packages

  • Misspelled words.
  • Unexpected.
  • Restrictive markings such as "Personal" or "Confidential".
  • Postmark does not match return address.
  • Badly typed or written.
  • Excessive postage.
  • No return address.
  • Wrong title or name in address.
  • Excessive tape or string.
  • Protruding wires.
  • Strange odor.
  • Crystals or powder-like residue.
  • Oily stains, discolorations or crystallization on wrapping.
  • Lopsided, rigid or bulky package.
  • Ticking sounds.

What a suspicious package looks like

What to do if you receive a suspicious letter or package

  • Handle it with care. Don't shake or bump it.
  • Isolate it immediately.
  • Don't open, smell or taste.
  • Call 911 and follow police directives.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.