Threat Assessment and Violence Prevention Guidelines
Threat Assessment and Violence Prevention Recommended Guidelines
Office of Academic Affairs
The policies of the Los Angeles Community College District prohibit disruption and obstruction of college functions and activities, verbal threats, and behavior endangering the health or safety of any individual. Any violations of this policy should be reported immediately to the appropriate supervisor or the campus Sheriffs by calling (323) 241-5311.
- Disruptive behavior disturbs, interferes with or prevents normal work functions or activities of the college. Examples include yelling, using profanity, waving arms or fists, verbally abusing others, and refusing reasonable requests for identification.
- Threatening behavior includes physical actions short of actual contact/injury (e.g., moving closer aggressively), general oral or written threats to people or property, ("You'd better watch your back" or I’ll get you") as well as implicit threats ("You'll be sorry" or "This isn't over").
- Violent behavior includes any physical assault, with or without weapons; behavior that a reasonable person would interpret as being potentially violent (e.g., throwing things, pounding on a desk or door, or destroying property), or specific threats to inflict physical harm (e.g., a threat to shoot a named individual).
What are the Warning Signs?
Below is a list of signs and attitudes that may be indicators of disruptive, threatening, or violent behavior. If you observe a pattern or change in behavior and attitude that causes you concern, please notify your supervisor, department chair, or the campus Sheriffs by calling (323) 241-5311.
- Challenging or resisting authority.
- Becoming unusually upset over recent event(s) (work or personal crisis).
- Withdrawing from normal activities, family, friends, and co-workers.
- Making a major change in lifestyle, demeanor, or appearance.
- Exhibiting signs of substance abuse.
- Blaming others for problems in life or work; being suspicious, holding grudges.
- Expressing feelings of being morally superior, self-righteous.
- Feeling entitled to special rights; rules don't apply to her/him.
- Exhibiting a recent fascination with weapons.
- Having a known history of violence.
What Behaviors Should I Report Immediately?
The following behaviors should be immediately reported to your supervisor, department chair, or the college Sheriff’s department at (323) 241-5311.
- Engaging in persistent, obsessive attention to others and/or stalking.
- Intimidating, verbally abusing, harassing or mistreating others.
- Making threatening references to other incidents of violence.
- Making threats to harm self, others, or property.
- Detailing specific proposed act(s) of disruption or violence,
- Expressing strong feelings of wanting or needing to get revenge, or being wronged, humiliated, or degraded.
What Should I do if Confronted by Disruptive, Threatening or Violent Behavior?
If you feel you are in immediate danger report the Threatening or Violent Behavior as soon as you can, to the college Sheriff’s department at (323) 241-5311.
- Use a calm, non-confrontational approach to defuse the situation. Indicate your desire to listen and understand the problem. Allow the individual to describe the problem.
- Do not take the behavior personally. Usually, the behavior has little to do with you, but you are used as a target in the situation.
- Set limits to indicate the behavior needed to deal with the concern. "Please lower your voice." "Please slop shouting (or using profanity) or I'll have to ask you to leave."
- Ask questions. Respectful concern and interest may demonstrate that aggression is not necessary.
- Consider offering an apology. Even if you've done nothing wrong, an apology may calm the individual and encourage cooperation. "I'm sorry that happened. What can we do now to solve the problem?"
- Summarize what you hear the individual saying. Make sure you are communicating clearly. In crisis, a person feels humiliated and wants respect and attention. Your summary of the individual's concerns reflects your attention. Focus on areas of agreement to help resolve the concern.
What Should I do if I Feel Threatened or in Danger?
If you feel threatened or in immediate danger report the Threatening behavior as soon as you can, to the college Sheriff’s department at (323) 241-5311.
- Find a way to excuse yourself, leave the room/area and get help. "You've raised some tough questions. I'll consult with my supervisor/department chair to see what we can do."
- Do not mention discipline or calling the sheriff’s office if you fear an angry or violent response.
- Signal for assistance. The individual may be antagonized if you call for assistance, so use a prearranged "distress" signal with a co-worker to check on you to determine how you are. If you need help, the co-worker should alert your supervisor and/or the college sheriff’s office at (323) 241-5311.
- Do not isolate yourself with an individual you believe may be dangerous. Maintain a safe distance, do not turn your back, and stay seated if possible. Leave the door open or open a closed door, and sit near the door. Be sure a co-worker is near to help if needed.
- NEVER try to physically remove an individual from the area. Even a gentle push or grabbing an arm may be interpreted as an assault by an agitated individual who may respond with violence towards you or could lead to legal action.
How do I Report Threats or Acts of violence?
Report all acts or threats of violence to your supervisor/department chair and the LASC Sheriff’s office by calling (323) 241-5311. In addition, if you are reporting a student, please contact the Office of the Vice President of Student Services at (323) 241-5328, as this is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
What are Some Preventive Actions we can take in our Department?
- Make sure, where possible, that doors and windows that should be shut or secured, are locked during working or non-working hours.
- If you work late, try to see who else is working late so that you both can walk together to the parking lot. parking structure, or bus stop.
- ALWAYS stop by the Sheriff’s Office to let them know you are on campus during non-instructional periods or early or late hours when instruction is not occurring. This lets them know in the event of an emergency, they should check up on you.
- Develop a secret code word or emergency phrase within your department for calling the Sheriff’s office. In one admissions office, when a situation escalated to the point to where the line staff felt threatened, the code phase that was used was “ could you look for this students yellow file”
- Discussing campus safety issues with co-workers.
- Report promptly and accurately all threats or acts of violence to your immediate supervisor or the LASC Sheriffs by calling (323) 241-5311.
- Arranging furniture to prevent entrapment.
- Do not keep sharp objects on your desk.
- Attend training sessions offered by the college.