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Threat Assessment

Preventing violence and supporting the safety and well-being of the campus are responsibilities of all members of the University community. Campus safety is enhanced through community members identifying behaviors that may pose a potential threat and reporting those concerns in a caring and timely manner.

What is a "threat?"

A threat is a communication of intent to harm someone, either self or another person. A threat can be communicated directly to the intended target, or indirectly to third parties. A threat also may be expressed in nonverbal behavior, or in private statements, such as diaries or journal entries, which have no third-party audience.

What are warning signs of a potential threat?

Here is a brief list of possible indicators of potential threat; it is by no means all-inclusive.

  • A comment of intent to do harm to a person or their property
  • Recent acquisition of, or fascination with, weapons
  • Stalking of, and/or an apparent obsession with, another individual
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Feelings of hopelessness, desperation, or despair
  • Noticeable changes in behavior, like extreme disorganization, interest in recently publicized violent themes, hypersensitivity to criticism, etc.
  • Statements about harming themselves or that their life isn’t worth living anymore
How do I know if a threat is serious?

It’s best to convey concerns to the Threat Assessment Team (TAT) and let the TAT determine whether or not there is a potential threat.

What is the Threat Assessment Team?

The TAT is a triage team, not a disciplinary body. It strives to improve community safety through a proactive, collaborative, objective, and thoughtful process of identifying, assessing, managing, and preventing—whenever possible—situations that pose, or may reasonably pose, a threat to the safety and well-being of the UR campus community.  

Who should report a potential threat?

Anyone who has information about a potential threat to, or by, a member of the UR community (including students, faculty, staff, guests, and visitors) should report it as soon as possible.

When is the right time to speak up?

Early identification of potential threats allows UR to intervene more effectively to address behaviors that are potential threats to the university community. In most situations this involves a compassionate referral of the person-of-concern to appropriate sources of help. The earlier the TAT is able to intervene, the greater the chances of preventing or deescalating a threatening situation.

I'm worried about getting someone in trouble.

The TAT is not a disciplinary body. When there is evidence of a potential threat, it is usually an indicator of a bigger issue. Punishment or disciplinary action may not be necessary or appropriate. More often, the person who poses a threat may need a compassionate referral for help or services. 

What information should I report?

If you perceive the possibility of a threat, even if there is no immediate threat to safety, it is your responsibility to report it. If possible, make note of the following details:

  • Name of the person who may pose a threat to self or others
  • Name of victim(s) or potential victim(s)
  • Where and when the threat occurred
  • What you have observed that has led you to be concerned
  • What happened prior to the incident and any pertinent history
  • Any observed behavior that suggests an intent to follow through with a violent act
Who are the members of the Threat Assessment Team?

What is the Threat Assessment process?

1.    Identify person of concern

2.    TAT members gather information about the situation

3.    Determine if there are reasons for concerns; if not, close case

4.    If there are reasons for concern, discuss and assess the situation

5.    Decide upon and implement an appropriate case management plan

6.    Refer and follow-up

7.    Monitor and reevaluate the plan (as needed)

Reporting a Threat

For an immediate threat, contact the UR Police Department at (804) 289-8911.

For a non-immediate threat, submit the online incident report form.