Bomb Threat Procedure

Policy Information
Policy TitleBomb Threat Procedure
Responsible OfficeNew York State University Police
Policy TypeSecurity and Safety
Policy Number807
Last Revision Date4/7/2022

If you receive a bomb threat by telephone

  1. Remain calm.
  2. If possible, signal to one of your colleagues to monitor the call.
  3. Keep the caller on the telephone as long as possible by asking the following questions:
    1. When is the bomb going to explode?
    2. Where is the bomb now?
    3. What kind of bomb is it?
    4. Why did you place the bomb?
      It is doubtful that the caller will answer any of the above questions, but you should ask the questions as a matter of procedure. If the questions do receive answers they should be written verbatim. The monitor should assist in this recording (re #2 above). The time the telephone call is terminated should also be recorded.
  4. Call Trace - it may be possible to trace the call: Once conversation has been terminated, immediately call University Police (ext. 911). Give them the facts of the call including your name, title, location, and telephone extension on which you received the threatening call and the time you received the call.
  5. Notify the most available senior person in charge of your area (preferably department head or chairman). Notify no one else unless there is an obvious immediate danger to personnel.
  6. Unless an evacuation is ordered, remain at your location to await arrival of University Police personnel.
  7. Write down a description of the caller's voice — indicate whether male or female; young, middle aged, or old; tone of voice; accent. Is voice familiar? Also, write down background noises you may have heard. Add any other remarks that you feel will assist University Police in the investigation. Give the information to the University Police Investigator.

If you receive a bomb threat that is written

  1. Call University Police at ext. 911.
  2. Repeat steps 6 and 7 (above).
  3. Preserve written communication for University Police.Note: Do not touch or handle these items. University Police may be able to process them for identifying characteristics.

If you locate a bomb or suspected bomb

  1. Do not touch or move item.
  2. Call University Police at ext. 911.
  3. Assist as directed by University Police with ensuring safety to faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

Mail bombs

  1. May appear to be normal; however, there are unique characteristics that may be helpful. Some or all of the following characteristics may be identified:
    1. Mail bombs have been contained in letters, books, and parcels of varying sizes, shapes, and colors.
    2. Letters feel rigid, appear uneven or lopsided, or are bulkier than normal.
    3. Oil stains may be present on the wrapper.
    4. An excessive number of postage stamps have been used.
    5. Sender is unknown.
    6. No return address.
    7. Name and title of addressee are not accurate.
    8. Address is prepared to ensure anonymity of sender (e.g., homemade labels, cut and pasted lettering).
    9. Mailing emits a peculiar odor.
    10. Mailing appears to be disassembled or reglued.
    11. Handwriting appears distorted or foreign.
    12. Protruding wires, tinfoil, or strings are present.
    13. Pressure or resistance is noted when removing the contents.
    14. Container is irregularly shaped, asymmetrical, has soft spots or bulges.
    15. Wrapping exhibits previous use such as traces of glue, mailing labels, return addresses or tape.
    16. Several combinations of tape are used to secure the parcel.
    17. Unprofessionally wrapped parcel is endorsed "Fragile--Handle With Care" or "Rush--Do Not Delay".
    18. Package makes a buzzing or ticking noise.
    19. Contents of parcel make a sloshing sound.
  2. If you suspect any letter of being a bomb:
    1. Do NOT:
      1. Open or squeeze the envelope.
      2. Pull or release any wire, string or hook.
      3. Turn or shake the letter.
      4. Put the letter in water or near heat.
      5. Move the letter away from people.
    2. Do:
      1. Move people away from the suspected letter bomb.
      2. Notify University Police at ext. 911.
      3. Guide emergency personnel to the object as soon as they arrive.