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Workplace Violence

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Immediate Threatening Behavior

If someone’s actions elicit concern about an immediate threat:

  • Try to remain calm and establish some kind of rapport with the threatening person.
  • Appease the person and avoid escalation of emotion or behavior if possible.
  • A threatening person may be irrational and unpredictable; you may not be able to change their behavior.
  • Tell the person you will consult with someone in authority to deal with their complaints.
  • If you are isolated with the threatening person, try to move to a public area
    • If possible, leave the person behind and contact Public Safety.
    • If the person insists on accompanying you, bring the person to a common area where someone will be able to discreetly contact Public Safety.
  • Employees in the vicinity not involved with the threatening person should discreetly contact Public Safety.
  • Take note of the characteristics of the threatening person: habits, speech, mannerisms, and anything that might help authorities.
  • When Public Safety arrives, the officer will assess the threat level. Follow all instructions given by the Public Safety officer or law enforcement.

Non-Immediate Threatening Behavior

  • If you are worried about potential violence because of someone’s behavior but you feel there is no immediate threat, get as much information as you can about the person and contact the Public Safety.
  • Remember that the presence of one or more of the following risk factors does not always mean a person is a threat. With a combination of these risk factors from the person, it is best to alert the Public Safety so they can perform a threat assessment.
    • Person communicates a threat to a person, place, or system.
    • Person possesses plans, tools, weapons, materials or timeframe for an attack.
    • Person glorifies and revels in publicized violence; uses weapons for emotional release; venerates destruction.
    • Person is fixated and focused on a target for an attack.
    • Person carries deep grudges and resentments.
    • Person describes target negatively in writing or art.
    • Person seems driven to an attack with little choice or with a feeling of predestination.
    • Person has suicidal ideations.
    • Person feels persecuted.
    • Person is preparing “last acts” or how s/he will be remembered.
    • Person has a weapon or training in weapons.
    • Person has a history of erratic, impulsive, risk-taking behaviors.
    • Person shows drastic, unexplained behavioral changes.

Suspicious Mail and Packages

If you suspect that you have received a package that may contain hazardous material and have not opened it:

  • Place item in a plastic bag and seal it. Then place the sealed item in a second plastic bag and seal that bag
  • Stay in your office or immediate work area. This also applies to co-workers in the same room.
  • Prevent others from entering the area and potentially becoming contaminated.
  • Call USI Public Safety to report. Give them the following information:
    • Building
    • Room number
    • Exact location of incident
    • Number of people potentially exposed
    • Description of the package/device
    • Action taken (e.g., package sealed in bags, area isolated)
    • Whether there is a ventilation system servicing the area
  • Don’t touch your face. Avoid contaminating your eyes, nose and mouth
  • If possible (without leaving your work area), wash your hands
  • Wait for help to arrive
  • Public Safety will notify the appropriate emergency responders

If you suspect that you have received a package that may contain hazardous material and have opened it follow the above procedures in addition to:

  • Don’t disturb the item any further.
  • Don’t pass it around. If any material has spilled from the item, don’t clean it up or brush it from your clothing.
  • If possible, place a large waste bin over the package without disturbing it.
  • Turn off any fans or equipment circulating air around your workplace.



If you witness or become aware of suspected violent, criminal or suspicious behavior on campus, you are expected to immediately notify USI Public Safety Dispatch and/or a Public Safety officer at 812-492-7777 or ext. 7777. You may also use the blue exterior emergency phones located throughout campus.

 When reporting violent, criminal or suspicious activity, provide as much of the following information possible:

  • If the crime is “in progress” tell the dispatcher immediately
  • Location of incident and nature of the incident (what the person is doing)
  • If injuries have occurred
  • Physical appearance and clothing description of suspect
  • Direction of travel when suspect last seen
  • Vehicle descriptions involved in incident or any license plate numbers
  • Weapons or tools involved

Real-time Reporting

Victims and witnesses involved in any on-campus violation such as assault, robbery, theft, overt sexual behavior, observe a crime or suspicious activity in progress, or feel threatened, report it immediately to Public Safety. DO NOT approach or attempt to apprehend person(s) involved.

If you believe you are in a safe location, stay on the phone with the dispatcher until instructed otherwise. Keep the dispatcher advised on any changes so responding units can be updated. Even if you cannot communicate, keep the line open. The dispatcher may be able to learn more information on what is happening.

Assist Public Safety and/or law enforcement upon arrival by providing them with all additional information; ask others to do the same. 

Anonymous Reporting

Situations requiring immediate attention should be directed to Public Safety. If you have witnessed or have information regarding University Code violations (, suspicious or criminal activity occurring on or off USI campus property or involving USI students, faculty or staff, you may anonymously submit the information directly to USI Public Safety by the Silent Witness Form, telephone TIP Line, or Dean of Student’s Care Team Report (C.A.R.E.) Form. 

Silent Witness Form

The information is submitted by email to Public Safety and is kept strictly confidential. A silent witness report is for non-emergency information or situations and will not result in an immediate emergency response from Public Safety.

TIP Line

Callers can provide anonymous non-emergency incident information in a voice mailbox. The Tip Line number is 812-228-5029 or campus extension 5029 and is available 24 hours a day.

Dean of Students Campus Action Response and Engagement (CARE) Team

The University’s C.A.R.E. Team responds to students in apparent/potential distress. The team works collaboratively to provide confidential, respectful and proactive support, while offering resources and balancing the educational needs of students within the overall mission of the University. 

The CARE team can be contacted by calling the Dean of Students Office 812-464-1862 or submitting a CARE Team Reporting Form at