Bombings are very rare; however, every bomb threat that is received must be responded to and investigated. All bomb threats will be taken seriously. In most cases, bomb threats are designed to disrupt the normal business operations of the institution. Additionally, true terrorists are interested in killing or maiming as many people as possible and, therefore, will not typically make phone calls prior to the bomb going off.

The UCA Police Department will determine the appropriate course of action. Not all bomb threats are legitimate, and evacuation is not always required. The UCA Police Department will properly report each bomb threat to federal, state and university officials as required.

Key Points

  • A bomb threat may be received in a number of ways including telephone, written message, Email, face-to-face interaction, social media, and suspicious package delivery by mail or messenger.
  • All faculty, staff, and students will be familiar with the Bomb Threat Information Checklist and will participate in drills and exercises when requested.

Phoned Threats:

  • Start a recording device, if one is available, or note the caller I.D. number, if available.
  • Treat the call seriously. As soon as possible, call the UCA Police Department (9-1-1) or signal another individual to do so.
  • Threatening calls are usually of short duration. Immediately complete the Bomb Threat Information Checklist with all the information you were able to obtain.
  • If the caller allows you to talk, begin asking the questions on the Bomb Threat Information Checklist.
  • Try to keep the call on for as long as possible.
  • If you have completed the checklist items and the caller is still on the phone, make a complete record of all that is being said.
  • When the caller hangs up, DO NOT HANG UP THE PHONE. Leave the line open. Hanging up may trigger the device.
  • Quickly and quietly inform your supervisor who will notify senior administrative personnel.
  • Be available after the call for UCA police officers and other response personnel to interview you.
  • The decision to evacuate will be made by the UCA Police Department in coordination with the President or designee, and with other first responders.
  • The UCA community will be notified via UCAAlert in the event such information is necessary.

Written Threats (Letter/Mail or Package):

Examine each piece of mail before opening it:

Letter Bombs:

  • Letter bombs are usually a large bulky envelope. Is the envelope large and bulky?
  • Check for smudges and if there is no return address.
  • Feel the letter lightly, if it does not feel right, do not open the envelope.
  • Place the letter away from all other items, especially heat sources.
  • Move out of the area and from another phone; call the UCA Police Department.

Package Bombs:

  • If you do not recognize the package as coming from a recognizable source,examine it more closely.
  • Check for a company name and address – it may be fictitious.
  • Is the package wrapped in a brown wrapper and tied with string?
  • Is the package excessively heavy?
  • If you have any questions about the package, gently place it away from electrical or heat sources.
  • Leave the area and lock it if you can.
  • Call the UCA Police Department from a phone at another location.
  • Keep others away until the police officers arrive.
  • Once the UCA Police arrives, be ready to answer questions – write down all the facts and your actions before emergency personnel arrive if time permits
  • The decision to evacuate will be made by the UCA Police Department in coordination with the President or designee, and with other first responders.
  • The UCA community will be notified via UCAAlert in the event such information is necessary.

E-mailed Treats:

  • If you receive an e-mailed threat:
  • Notify the UCA Police Department
  • Print, photograph, or copy down the message. Include the header of the e-mail.
  • Do not delete the e-mail – Save the e-mail.
  • Leave the e-mail open until assistance arrives.
  • The UCA community will be notified via UCAAlert in the event such information is necessary.

Verbal Threats:

If you receive a verbal (face-to-face) threat:

  • Do not approach the individual.
  • Try to talk to the person in a calm and rational manner.
  • Move and speak slowly, quietly and confidently.
  • Notify the UCA Police Department as soon as you can safety do so.
  • Note the description of the person who made the threat.
  • Try to segregate the individual from others without approaching them closely.
  • If possible, draw the attention of one or two other persons to the situation so they can call authorities while you continue to speak with the individual.
  • Try to get the individual to talk. Let the individual do much of the talking.
  • Know the Bomb Threat Information Checklist and try to obtain as much information about the bomb, its location, and description as possible.
  • As soon as the UCA police officers arrive, the officers will try to replace you as the negotiator.
  • If the person who made the threat leaves before UCA Police arrives, note the direction in which the person leaves, and report to the UCA Police Department.
  • As soon as possible, give all information you have to any other police officer present.
  • Immediately write down all that you can remember of the incident.
  • Stay accessible to police officers until you are told to do otherwise.
  • The UCA community will be notified via UCAAlert in the event such information is necessary.

Social Media Threats (i.e. Facebook or Twitter):

If you receive a threat through any Social Media:

  • Immediately report the threat to the UCA Police Department.
  • Note the name of the person making the threat and the application they used to make it.
  • Record the exact wording of the threat as it was posted.
  • Take a screen shot of the computer if possible to provide to the UCA Police Department.
  • The UCA community will be notified via UCAAlert in the event such information is necessary.

Rumors of Threats:

If you overhear a rumor about an IED, a bomb threat, or incident:

  • Write down exactly what you heard.
  • Write down from whom you heard it
  • Immediately report the rumor to the UCA Police Department.
  • The UCA community will be notified via UCAAlert in the event such information is necessary.

Click here for a handy reference guide and check list for bomb threats that has been published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.