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Skidmore College
Emergency Preparedness

Criminal or Suspicious Behavior

Everyone is asked to assist in making the campus a safe place by being alert to suspicious situations and promptly reporting them.

Promptly notify Department of Campus Safety at ext. 5566 to report the incident, including the following:

  • Nature of the incident.
  • Location of the incident.
  • Description of person(s) involved.
  • Description of property involved. 

If you observe a criminal act, or whenever you observe a suspicious person on campus:

  • Immediately notify the Department of Campus Safety at ext. 5566. You may also use the confidential TIPS line (8477) to report suspicious activity.
  • Assist the officers when they arrive by supplying them with all additional information and ask others to cooperate.
  • If there is gunfire or an explosion, you should take cover immediately using all available concealment. After the disturbance, seek emergency first aid if necessary.

What to Do If Taken Hostage

The initial 45 minutes are the most dangerous. Follow instructions, be alert—and stay alive. The captor is likely to be emotionally imbalanced.

  • Don't speak unless spoken to and then only when necessary. Don't talk down to the captor, who may be in an agitated state. Avoid appearing hostile.
  • Try to rest. Avoid speculating. Comply with instructions as best you can. Avoid arguments. Expect the unexpected.
  • Be observant. You may be released or have the opportunity to escape. The personal safety of others may depend on your memory.
  • Be prepared to answer the police on the phone. Be patient, wait. If the opportunity presents itself, attempt to establish rapport with the captor. If medications, first aid or rest room privileges are needed by anyone, say so. In all probability, the captors do not want to harm persons held by them. Such direct action further implicates the captor in additional offenses.

Contact with suspect

  • Officer should not approach unless completely safe. As a rule, wait for local law enforcement.
  • Maintain cover and be deliberate in action.
  • Be aware of a possible hostage situation.
  • Direct suspect to a position that allows officers to establish control and protect bystanders.
  • Determine if there are other suspects, weapons, explosives, etc.
    • Officers looking for suspects in peripheral area should estimate the distance they might be able to travel in a given time after crime occurred. Variables such as whether the suspect is on foot, in a vehicle, in campus buildings, time of day, traffic, weather conditions, classes are in session, campus is closed, and other considerations may affect the distance the suspect may be from the scene.
    • Units should place themselves in a position where they may intercept fleeing suspects if it is safe to do so.
    • After the suspect is removed from the area/building, the entire location should be completely searched for possible additional suspect(s) or victims.