What to do if You Receive Threatening Communication

If you receive a terrorist threat or bomb threat, dial 911.

When dealing with people, you may encounter those who engage in threatening behaviors. Although we cannot control the conduct of others, we can take steps to mitigate threats to our employees and the State’s property.
If you receive a threatening phone call, remain calm and write down as much information about the threat and caller as you can. Be polite and try not to aggravate the caller.  Get the attention of a co-worker who can call police, or call police on another phone as soon as the caller hangs up.  Do not hang up even if the caller does. Write down the numbers or letters on your telephone’s display. Try to keep the caller on the line so you can get as much information as possible. Immediately write down as many details about the call you can including the date and time. Did the caller identify him or herself?  If not, did they have an accent, or other identifying features like a lisp or nasally voice? Could you hear any identifying background noises like music or machinery? Could you guess the callers age or other identifying features?

If you receive a threatening e-mail, do not delete it. Do not respond to the e-mail. Alert your supervisor immediately and call police.

If you receive threatening or suspicious mail, do not open or handle the item. Alert your supervisor immediately and call Capitol Police or the local agency that responds to your location. Suspicious mail may be a letter or a package. You may notice that it has no return address, incorrect titles or spelling, excessive postage or a strange odor or sound.

Capitol Police take threats very seriously. If you have concerns about a person making threats whether verbal or written, call us at 287-HELP (4357) and speak with an officer.

Some calls or email communications may not be threatening, but are none-the-less of concern to the person receiving them. Unfortunately, State workers and officials often receive these types of communications from mentally ill or simply disgruntled people. If you are concerned about a call, voicemail, or email, do not hesitate to contact Capitol Police at 287-HELP (4357). We will be happy to review it and discuss options with you. Often, we can determine that you were not targeted and that a similar communication was sent to a large group of people. In most cases, we will document the occurrence so that action can be taken in the future if warranted.

Dealing With Suspicious Mail

What Should Make Me Suspect a Piece of Mail?

  • It is addressed to someone no longer at your address.
  • It is handwritten; Has no return address or you can’t confirm that the address is legitimate.
  • It has a poorly typed address, incorrect titles or just titles with no name or misspellings of common words.
  • It is oddly shaped, lopsided, or lumpy in appearance.
  • It is sealed with excessive amounts of tape.
  • It is marked with “personal” or “confidential.”
  • It has excessive postage.
  • It has a powdery substance on the outside.
  • It has strange orders or stains.

What Should I Do with A Suspicious Piece of Mail?

  • Do not handle a letter or package that you suspect is contaminated or might contain a bomb.
  • Do not try to open the piece if mail.
  • Do not shake it, bump it, or sniff it.
  • Isolate the mail piece.
  • Evacuate the immediate area.
  • Notify appropriate supervisory personnel and law enforcement authorities.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Resources: United States Postal Service