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flame illustration   SPECIFIC EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
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DISRUPTIVE PERSON/
SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY/
ARMED INDIVIDUAL


This category of emergency is one in which staff will be called upon to evaluate circumstances and use their best judgment as to whether or not to become involved. However, as a general guideline, when uncertainty exists as to how to react, or if personal safety is placed in jeopardy in any way, staff are always urged to use extreme caution.

Behavior is to be considered disruptive if it violates the library’s posted conduct policy, or interferes with university or university sponsored activities, such as classroom activities, studying, teaching, research, intellectual or creative endeavors, administration, or the provision of communication, computing, or emergency services.

box bullet If a person(s) creates a disturbance in the Library, a calm and reasonable inquiry into the cause for the disturbance and, as the situation will allow, a tactful request to desist should be made by the responsible Librarian on duty, or the staff member in charge.

box bullet Special care should be taken in case the behavior is caused by a drug or psychiatric problem. Attempt to be as calm and understanding as possible in an instance such as this, but be alert for possible violent behavior.

box bullet The following general techniques may assist in dealing with volatile situations with patrons:

Remain calm and alert

Attempt to put the individual at ease by acknowledging the problem and by showing understanding.

Ask questions that will show interest and clarify the problem.

Allow the individual to vent frustrations verbally in a non-threatening manner.

Do not overreact or respond in a challenging or defensive manner.

Respect the individual’s personal space, never touch the person, and avoid body language that could be interpreted as threatening

box bullet If requests to desist from disruptive behavior are refused or ignored, if the person(s) becomes verbally intimidating to staff members or users, threatens to become or becomes violent, DO NOT become further involved or attempt to use force in any way to detain or remove the person(s) from the Library.

box bullet Instead, call the Campus Police at the emergency number 911. If possible, this call should be made from a safe location that is not accessible or visible to the person causing the disturbance. If a call cannot be made in this manner, use of the portable security alarm (panic buzzer) may be deemed advisable.

box bullet The police would rather respond to an incident and find it to be nothing than be called too late. After calling the police, stand back and observe. When the police arrive, provide them with the facts and allow them to take control of the situation.

box bullet If it has not already been done, report the incident to the Disaster Action Team.

box bullet If persons are observed loitering about the Library and appear to be using the facilities for other than the research purposes for which it is intended, and/or they are taking part in any activity of a suspicious nature or that suggests criminal intention, staff should carefully observe the individual(s) and the activity, and, if it is considered appropriate, the Campus Police should be called.

box bullet If an armed individual is encountered:

Place as much distance between yourself and the threat.

If there is an accessible escape route, evacuate, moving away from the sound of gunfire as fast as possible and with the flow of evacuating personneL.

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide out of the active shooter’s view where some protection can be found, such as an office.

Lock and barricade the door with heavy furniture. Remain silent.

If able without compromising your location to the shooter, call 911 and report your location to the police .

As a last resort, only when life is in danger, take action. Attempt to disrupt or incapacitate shooter.


When law enforcement arrives, put down any items in your hands, raise hands and keep them visible, avoid quick movements or pointing, proceed in the direction from which officers entered.

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