Department of Public Safety

Recognizing and Reporting Suspicious Circumstances

If you observe suspicious behavior, contact the Department of Public Safety immediately.

If You See Something? Say Something! When reporting suspicious circumstances to the Department of Public Safety, we encourage you to focus on the behavior of a person that appears to be suspicious. The behavior should demonstrate acts that raise your suspicion and cause concern for your safety or the safety of others. Below is some information that may aid you in identifying suspicious circumstances.

Suspicious Circumstances to be aware of

  • Persons monitoring areas, entrances to buildings or buildings
  • Persons pacing back and forth who appear to be dazed or confused
  • Persons speaking incoherently
  • Persons wandering in residence halls or buildings that appear to have no legitimate purpose
  • Unauthorized persons in restricted or sensitive areas
  • Persons requesting sensitive information, building/HVAC plans, water, electrical, telecommunications locations, etc.
  • Persons wearing clothing not consistent with weather conditions (i.e. person(s) wearing full-length trench coats with boots in 70 degree weather)
  • Persons abandoning packages, backpacks, briefcases in unusual areas, such as high traffic/high populated areas, i.e.: sporting events, lectures, common areas, etc.
  • Persons attempting to access utility rooms
  • Multiple persons who appear to be working in consort, committing any of the above
  • Unusual powders or liquids/droplets/mists/clouds especially found near intake/HVAC systems or enclosed spaces
  • Dead animals/birds, fish, insects
  • Unexplained/unusual odors. Smells may range from fruity/flowers to sharp/pungent, garlic/horseradish-like, bitter almonds, peach kernels, and newly mown grass/hay
  • Unusual/unscheduled spraying or discovery of spray devices or bottles

Suspicious Vehicles

  • Abandoned vehicles, or unfamiliar parked vehicles, especially near sensitive areas, high traffic/populated areas, common areas, etc.
  • Unexpected/unfamiliar delivery trucks
  • Vehicles containing suspicious persons, parcels or materials
  • A group of individuals sitting in a parked vehicle that appear to monitor pedestrian behavior
  • Vehicles arriving and being left at odd hours, at odd locations
  • Unusual powders or liquids/droplets/mists/clouds leaking or spilling from vehicles

Building and Office Security Tips

  • Do not prop doors, or allow persons to “tailgate” into buildings, specifically residence halls. Rectify these situations when you observe them
  • Lock offices and residence hall rooms when unattended. In addition, lock residence hall rooms when sleeping
  • Secure ground and first-level windows prior to leaving the office for the day
  • Do not leave keys unattended or give them to unauthorized persons. Report lost keys immediately to the Department of Public Safety
  • Secure and account for all sensitive material, i.e. building plans, computer codes, access cards, etc. Report compromised codes to the appropriate person(s) and lost access cards to the DPS
  • Secure sensitive deliveries in a timely manner
  • Talk to co-workers about meeting points in the event of an evacuation. Be prepared to report missing co-workers who may still be in the building to the DPS or fire safety officials
  • Familiarize yourself with your co-workers, student employees, or residence peers to improve your ability to know/identify suspicious persons

Please report suspicious activity to us immediately by calling (401) 863-3322. An officer will subsequently be dispatched to the area to take the report and investigate the matter.