SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR HOSTILE SITUATIONS
The safety and well-being of each individual within the University Community is of utmost importance to the Department of Public Safety - Police Division. But, because we are a public entity and our business, by nature, brings us into constant contact with hundreds of people, staff, faculty, and students, the safety and well-being of the community is sometimes threatened. However, that threat can be lessened or minimized if we remember and/or practice the following suggestions when performing our everyday duties and, especially when encountering or dealing with a threatening, irate or hostile individual.
1. Always be polite and courteous.
2. Be aware of surroundings and available help, rely on your instincts.
3. Have a member of faculty/staff present during any conference as a safety precaution.
4. Avoid verbal confrontations.
If confrontation is unavoidable, it is essential to attempt to diffuse the situation rather than escalate the situation. Many times this can be accomplished by using the following verbal and listening techniques.
Isolate the situation
Be aware of non-verbal communication
Speak softly and clearly
Put space between yourself and the individual
Get into a power struggle
Make False Promises
Use "jargon" that confuses or frustrates
Make direct, intense eye contact
Contact Police as soon as possible.
REMEMBER: Confrontation is not a personal attack against yourself, but the irrational behavior of someone who is upset, worried, or out of control. Respond with patience by carefully listening to the individual and whenever possible, respond with questions to clarify and reflect their concerns or complaints. Sudden movements, strong language and the threatening remarks will only intensify the situation. Should you feel personally threatened, quietly and calmly remove yourself from the individual temporarily and call for help or assistance from either a co-worker, faculty member and/or the University Police. The University Police Department is always available for any conflict and emergencies.
With the University Community and University Police working together, we can continue to remain in an environment that is conductive to the safety and well-being of all.