Public Safety

Suspicious Packages and Letters

Any person receiving mail and/or packages at the University of Cincinnati should exercise a reasonable degree of caution and examine those materials before opening them. Some characteristics of suspect letters and packages are as follows:

  1. Letters and packages delivered by someone other than regular carriers;
  2. Packages wrapped in string. This is an indicator because modern packaging materials have eliminated the need for twine and string;
  3. Excess use of securing material, e.g., tape, staples, etc.
  4. Packages that are lopsided, heavy sided, or have lumps, bulges, or protrusions;
  5. No postage, non-cancelled postage, or excessive postage;
  6. Handwritten notes such as: "To Be Opened in the Privacy Of ....", "Confidential", "This is Your Lucky Day";
  7. Packages or letters that have no return addresses, or nonsensical return addresses;
  8. Letters or packages arriving before or after phone calls asking if the items were received;
  9. Improper spelling of common names, places, or titles; or
  10. Leaks, stains, or protruding wires, foil, string, tape, etc.

If a suspicious letter or package is discovered:

  1. Stop immediately. Do not open items any further. Do not move items or put them in water or confined spaces such as desk drawers or filing cabinets;
  2. Do not shake or empty the contents of any suspicious envelope or package;
  3. Notify UCPD at 513-556-1111;
  4. Isolate the mailing and get people out of the immediate area;
  5. Leave the area immediately and wash your hands with soap and water;
  6. Notify your supervisor;
  7. If possible, list all people who were in the room or area, especially those who had actual contact with the powder or substance. Give this list to the responding emergency personnel;
  8. Make yourself available to assist responding Police, Fire, and Hazardous Materials resources.