Emergency Preparedness

Reporting Suspicious Activity

The university, like any other community in our nation, is at risk of terrorism or other threats to life and property. Vigilance is a key protective measure that can help reduce risk. All members of the university community, when on and off campus, are urged to be attentive to their surroundings, notice suspicious behavior or circumstances and to report their observations to authorities.

Remember: if you see Something, say Something ™

When noticing something that you feel may be suspicious:

  • Place your observation into context. Is there a plausible explanation that would account for the activity you observe? Does this explanation convince you that there is no potential for a threat to public safety?
  • Do not attempt to rationalize your suspicions.
  • In other words, if it doesn't look right or if you have any feeling that the actions or circumstances you observe are suspicious, report your observations immediately.
  • Suspicious activities on campus should be reported to the Rowan University Police Department (RUPD) at 856-256-4911. If the suspicious activity is in progress and poses an immediate threat Call 9-1-1
  • Suspicious activities observed off campus should be reported to the appropriate municipal police department or by contacting the New Jersey State Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness in one of the following methods:
  • 24-hour, toll-free tip line: 866-4-SAFE-NJ (866-472-3365) or Dial 2-1-1
  • E-mail: tips@njhomelandsecurity.gov
  • Online report form

When reporting suspicious behavior or circumstances be prepared to include as much of the following information as possible:

WHO? Describe who you feel is involved in suspicious activity.
WHAT? Describe the suspicious activity. Indicate if there is an immediate threat to persons nearby or to responding officers (such as an unattended package, an individual acting strangely, the presence of weapons, hazardous materials, etc.)?
WHEN? Indicate if the activity is in progress. Give the time(s) that the activities occurred.
WHERE? Give the location of the suspicious activity and the location of the suspect(s).
WHY? Indicate why the activity is suspicious. If known, tell what might be the target of the activity.

Please include any other information that would aid the responders.

Stay on the telephone until released by the dispatcher. If you are in a position of safety, you may be asked to maintain observation and report developments until the arrival of emergency response personnel. You may also be given emergency instructions by the dispatcher.

Intruder/Suspicious Person

If you encounter someone in your building who is behaving in a way that seems suspicious to you, such as trying to hide, enter unauthorized offices, or attempting to conceal a weapon call 9-1-1. Be prepared to provide their description and location.

If an armed or threatening intruder comes in to your facility report it immediately and take protective actions. Rowan University maintains an open campus which creates unique challenges when encountered by unfamiliar or suspicious persons.

If you see an armed intruder and you are in an office or classroom:

Leave the building immediately

  • If you are not able to leave immediately lock all doors or move to a secure area.
  • Call 9-1-1
  • The alternate RUPS phone number is: 856-256-4911
  • Remain calm; give an accurate description of the person or person(s). Note clothing, height, weight, gender, and any other descriptive information that is particular to the individual(s). Report the type of weapon (if known) and direction of travel or building entered.
  • Do not draw attention to yourself; turn off lights and all audio equipment.
  • Stay out of the open areas and be as quiet as possible.
  • Keep classroom or office secure until police arrive and provide further instructions.
If you are caught in an open or exposed area and you cannot get into a secure area or office you must decide upon a course of action:
Run If you can safely make it out of the area, then RUN. If you decide to run, stay low and do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects (trees, vehicles, trash cans, etc.) between you and the hostile person. When away from immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.
Hide If you are not able to leave, look for a safe and secure hiding area. Once in place remain calm and alert. Stay hidden; await emergency personnel and follow their instructions.
Fight If you are confronted by someone who is causing death or physical injury to others and you are unable to get away your last option is to fight back. Work together with other trapped persons. This is extremely dangerous; however, depending on your situation this could be your only option to survive.

Identifying and Handling Suspicious Mail

If you are suspicious of a mail item, (i.e. letter, package, etc) and are unable to verify the contents with the addressee or sender:

  • Do not open
  • Treat it as suspect
  • Isolate it
  • Dial 9-1-1 or 856-256-4911

Suspicious mail may have the following characteristics:

  • Type of mail Foreign, Priority, Special Delivery
  • Restrictive Endorsements Confidential, Personal, To Be Opened By Addressee Only
  • Postmark city different from return address
  • Fictitious, unfamiliar or no return address
  • Excessive postage (usually postage stamps)
  • Visual Distractions - Fragile, Rush, Handle with Care
  • Address to title only (i.e., Vice President)
  • Wrong title with name
  • Poorly typed or handwritten address
  • Misspelled words
  • Rigid or bulky
  • Protruding wires, screws or other metal parts
  • Strange odor
  • Oily stains or discoloration on wrapping
  • Lopsided package or uneven envelope
  • Excessive Binding Material masking, electric or strapping tape, string or twine

Mail that may have a light coating of a powdery substance:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Notify the Department of Public Safety and your immediate supervisor
  • Ensure that all persons who have touched the letter/package wash their hands with soap and water
  • List the names and contact information for all persons who have touched the letter/package
  • Isolate the package and follow the instructions of Public Safety and Emergency Services Personnel

See USPS guidlines For additional information

Remember, if you see suspicious activity or packages while visiting Rowan University, pick up the phone and report it. It's our job to check it out and to keep you safe! Stay alert. Be aware. Speak up.