What is suspicious? What makes someone suspicious? How do you know if something potentially dangerous took place?
The answer to all these questions is largely subjective. Sometimes an individual will look perfectly normal in one area of the campus, while this same individual's presence would be highly irregular in another part of campus. The best way to articulate suspicion is: If something or someone's presence makes you feel that all is not right, you need to explain this information to the police.
If something out of the ordinary takes place in your office/classroom, dorm, or apartment you need to articulate it so that the dispatcher knows what has taken place. You know your office/classroom dorm or apartment better than anyone. If something is not right, then you need to let the Police Department know.
Example: Every day you lock your desk, file cabinet, and turn off the computer, but on a Monday, you discover the office open, the computer on, and your desk rummaged through; this is suspicious. If you work in an isolated area where students never or rarely frequent and a person who looks like a student is just hanging around for a long time, this may be suspicious.
When you talk to the dispatcher, articulate these things. Somebody that is very suspicious isn't going to report his or herself to the police.
How do you describe a suspicious person?
The best thing to do is know ahead of time what you should look for so that the description is of use to the police. Do not be shy; do not think your description might be offensive. The following details are always helpful:
- Skin/Hair color
- Hair Style
- Hair Texture
- Shape of Eyebrow
- Size and Shape of Eye
- Shape of Nose
- Shape of Mouth and Lips
- Chin Clefts
- Cheeks (full or sunken)
- Ear Size and Shape
- Neck and Adam's Apple
- Mustache or Beard
What was said during the encounter? Did the suspect have an accent?
After you have tried to articulate these identifiers, go one step further. Ask yourself, if I were going to draw a caricature of this person, what features would draw your attention? Stress and articulate the obvious including the suspect's gender and race. Did the suspect have a weapon? Include these details in your description.
Emergency: 911 • Campus Police: (254) 295-5555
Location: Mabee Student Success Center • First Floor
Address: 900 College Street, Box 8350 • Belton, TX 76513
Office Hours: M-F • 8am-5pm
firstname.lastname@example.org • Phone: (254) 295-4587
Page last updated September 27, 2018