Suspicious Object, Activity or Personnel​

If you observe a suspicious object, package, vehicle, mail,letter or potential hazardous device on campus, DO NOT HANDLE THE OBJECT!


  1. Clear the area and from a safe location immediately call law enforcement. Refrain from using cellular phones or portable radios near suspicious packages.

  2. Do not attempt to locate, move or disarm any suspicious items. Inform authorities of the item. Alert others to stay clear of it.

  3. Follow any instructions received from law enforcement.

  4. Isolate package/letter and other potentially contaminated items and secure room to prevent others from entering the area. Do not shake, open, smell or taste any substance on or within the object. If you have already touched the object, place it in a sealed plastic container or bag. If exposed, immediately wash hands and exposed skin thoroughly with soap and water and seek emergency medical attention.

  5. If a hazard is imminent or ordered by emergency personnel, evacuate the building using the nearest available exit. Follow Evacuation Procedures if one is so ordered. If disabled personnel cannot safely evacuate the building, assist to the nearest stairwell away from bomb threat area and follow Evacuations of People with Disabilities.

  6. Once outside, move to a clear area that is at least 500 feet away from the affected building. Keep streets and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews. The person discovering the threat should provide information to emergency personnel.

  7. Do not return to an evacuated building unless authorized by emergency personnel.

  8. Emergency personnel will determine if, how, and where the suspicious package should be transported or disposed.

  9. See Terrorism section for response steps to actual Nuclear/Biological/Chemical (NBC) terrorist attacks.

How to identify Suspicious Packages, Letters, Vehicles, Activity, and Personnel

Some characteristics of suspicious packages and letters include the following: excessive postage, poorly addressed, incorrect titles, no name, misspelled words, oily stains, discolorations or odor, missing or suspicious return address, excessive weight, lopsided or uneven envelope, protruding wires or aluminum foil, excessive security material such as tape, packages wrapped in string, visual distractions, marked with restrictive endorsements, such as “Personal” or “Confidential”, shows a city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address, addressee is not expecting the package, hand delivered or "dropped off for a friend" packages or letters, letters or packages arriving before or after a phone call from an unknown person asking if the item was received, pressure or resistance may be noted when removing contents from an envelope or parcel, buzzing, ticking or sloshing sound is heard from the package.

In regards to suspicious vehicles, activity, and personnel be aware of and report any of the following:

  • People in buildings or grounds that do not appear to be conducting legitimate business.
  • Unauthorized personnel in restricted, sensitive, or private areas. Unauthorized photography.
  • Unauthorized persons requesting sensitive information such as security information.
  • Abandoned or suspicious vehicles.
  • Unexpected or unfamiliar delivery trucks.
  • Vehicles arriving and being left behind at odd hours.
  • Unauthorized individuals near or tampering with ventilation equipment.

Call University Police 715-346-3456


University Police and Security Services

U.S. Postal Service Tip Sheet on Suspicious Mail

Guide to Mail Security

Report a Concern

Page Last Reviewed: November 10, 2022

Page Last Updated: November 10, 2022