Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

Verbal Threats

Studies have shown that, in many cases, persons who commit violent acts told someone else that they were going to do it before the incident occurred. Threats made in person, whether communicated directly or overheard, can be:

  • Specific ... "Wait until everyone sees the boomer I've got in my dorm room."
  • Veiled ... "Something really big is going to happen in the library."
  • Direct ... "Don't piss me off, Bob, or I'm gonna go nuts on you."
  • Indirect ... "I just wish this whole school was wiped off the face of the earth."

When a person receives a threat verbally:

  1. Take the threat seriously.
  2. Contact PCC Police and Safety Services (626) 585-7484. If you feel you and/or others are in immediate danger call 911.
  3. If possible or practical, attempt to detain the person making the threat.
  4. Note the characteristics of the person who made the threat. Make these notes even if you know the identity of the person. If possible take a photograph of the subject. This will help police find the subject, who they may not recognize.

    • name (if known)
    • race
    • sex
    • type and color of clothing
    • body size
    • hair color
    • distinguishing features
  5. The person who received the threat should write down the threat exactly as it was communicated. Include:

    • Exact wording.
    • Who made the threat?
    • The date and time of the threat.
    • Where the person who made the threat is now.
    • Any physical characteristics noted about the person who made the threat.

Distressed Student

Whether in classrooms, in college offices, or on campus, students may exhibit behaviors suggesting that they have emotional, psychological, or interpersonal problems. C-PART (Crisis Prevention And Response Team) serves as the coordinating hub of a network of campus resources including the PCC Police and Safety Services, Psychological Services, Student Health Services, Student Affairs, and Special Services. C-PART focuses on prevention and early intervention in situations involving students who are distressed, disruptive, or dangerous.

You can use the following to determine what type of action is needed for different categories of behavior.

  • Behavioral Category: Level 1 - DISTRESSED (emotional). Upset, distracted, noticeable anxiety, tearfulness, absences/tardies, or suggestions of self-harm.
    Action: Talk privately with student, refer to/consult with Psychological and other Student Services, and keep personal notes of situation.
  • Behavioral Category: Level 2 - DISRUPTIVE (in classroom or on campus). Interruptive, annoying, bothersome, insubordinate, or excessive number of questions.
    Action: Set limits, consult with Dean/Manager, consult with DSP&S (Disabled Student Programs & Services) or Psychological Services, and complete Misconduct Form (http://www.pasadena.edu/staffservices/student-misconduct.pdf)
  • Behavioral Category: Level 3 - DANGEROUS (threat to safety). Verbal or physical threats, altercations, or out-of-control behavior.
    Action: Immediately call 911 from campus phone (PCC Campus Police and Safety), notify dean/manager, complete Misconduct Form
  • C-PART Members

    • PCC Police and Safety Services - B210, (626) 585-7484
    • Psychological Services - L108, (626) 585-7273
    • Student Health Services - D105, (626) 585-7244
    • Student Affairs Office - CC105, (626) 585-7384

    Rumors:

    In a number of school shooting cases perpetrated by students, other students had heard rumors that the perpetrator was going to commit a violent act. Following up on rumors is the key to stopping violence that was forewarned. Contact PCC Police and Safety Services (626) 585-7484 and/or members of C-PART and share any information.

    Bullying:

    Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both who are bullied and who bully others may have serious lasting problems. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group or purpose Bullying is not limited to young school aged children and often occur with young adults and college students. Many of these behaviors are considered crimes under state and federal law and may trigger serious consequences after the age of 18. To report bullying contact PCC Campus Police and Safety Services (626) 585-7484. To learn more about bullying and ways to prevent it go to www.stopbullying.gov.

    Stalking:

    On college campuses, many women have a false sense of security. They're either not paying attention to their surroundings -- talking on cell phones, listening to iPods, etc. -- or posting their schedules and personal information on MySpace, Facebook and similar Web sites. All of this makes them especially vulnerable to a danger many don't even know exists -- stalkers.

    According to a recent survey, more than one-in-eight female college students are victimized by stalkers, but, while 93 percent of those victims tell their friends about it, only 17 percent notify campus authorities or the police

    Stalkers gather information from people like Co-workers, Classmates, Friends, Relatives, DMV, City Utilities, State Professional Licensing Boards, Voter Registration, Veterinarians, Post Office, Internet Search Engines, HR Departments at Workplaces, Banks & Credit Card Companies. In a campus setting, information gathering is easier than most other places. Information may be posted on the Internet by the college.

    Unwanted Contacts-Gifts, Notes, Calls, Following & Observation:

    Stalkers may appear to be charming and attentive-leaving gifts, flowers, love letters or poems for the victims to find. The situation may turn ugly as when dead flowers, hateful letters or dead animals are left by the stalker. In a campus environment "coincidental" contacts may be easily arranged by the stalker.*

    Escalation-Vandalism, Threats & Violence:

    A history of violence, including domestic violence, is the most reliable predictor of probable escalation of stalking behavior. Threats may be implicit, explicit or symbolic.

    What to do if you are being stalked on PCC campus:

    Contact PCC Police immediately at (626) 585-7484 or call 911.

    Stalking is a crime Penal Code Section 646.9:

    (a) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

    If a person knowingly engaged in a pattern of conduct (two or more actions or incidents closely related in time) that caused you to believe that the offender may cause you physical harm or mental distress.

    If you think you are being stalked, report incidents to law enforcement (campus police and/or local police).

    • Contact your local victim advocate program that can assist you with safety planning and prosecution of the case.
    • Talk about your experiences with others you trust (family members, friends, room-mates, school counselor/advisor, etc.).
    • Be careful about sharing your personal information.
    • You will be more credible and help build a stronger case if you:
    • Keep a log listing all stalking incidents (dates, times, places, what happened, witnesses, etc.)
    • Students tend to follow predictable schedules, attending classes and eating meals at the same time each day. Campus stalkers can easily familiarize themselves with a student's comings and goings-and campus buildings that don't have 24-hour security provide stalkers with physical proximity to their victims.
    • The use of social media provides another avenue for stalkers. The recent trend where students check-in and provide their whereabouts to their friends can also be used by potential stalkers to locate their victims. Stalkers threatening or intimidating Facebook messages, and tweets, have added to the growing threat from stalkers.