Partnership to assist with threatening behaviors

Sep 25th, 2008 | By | Category: Campus News, September 25, 2008

UNL Alert Web site pic
UNL is promoting a new partnership to raise awareness about threatening and troubling behavior on campus and empower students, faculty and staff to take action.

The Threat Assessment Partnership re-emerged this spring as a collaboration between UNL Police, University Health Center and its Counseling and Psychological Services, and UNL Human Resources’ Employee Assistance Program, and is promoting the participation of all faculty, staff and students to call one number: 472-2222, if anyone at any time is concerned that someone at the university is exhibiting troubling or threatening behavior.

Threatening or troubling behaviors include verbal or physical threats, domestic violence, suicide threats, stalking, sabotage, or the sight of weapons.

By calling to attention these types of behaviors, the goal is to encourage anyone who sees these behaviors not to ignore them – but to act to help people who are troubled before they could harm themselves or others.

“This isn’t a new program but it’s something that we’ve been changing, as a process, in how we go about communicating among ourselves and to others about what to look for – and whom to report to,” said Owen Yardley, UNL chief of police. “More than ever, safety is collaborative, and part of what we need to do is to train our employees and students what to look for and to ask for their help and intervention.”

The Threat Assessment Partnership awareness campaign includes provocative images and the headline: “You have the power to:” that sends the message that “we all have the power to act if there ever were a threat to safety on campus.” The partnership encourages people to call 472-2222, where UNL Police can immediately help assess whether to involve the Threat Assessment team (as in the instance of a student or employee who appears troubled or needs psychological intervention), or to dispatch help (as in the instance of a sighting of a weapon or if someone is physically being threatened).

Part of the project involves additional training for UNL employees and faculty, campus law enforcement and campus housing about what behaviors can signal the need for intervention and what other resources and services are available on campus.

“By compassionately looking out for the welfare of each other, we can create an even more caring community at UNL,” said Bob Portnoy, director of Counseling and Psychological Services at University Health Center, which is one of the threat assessment partners. “In this way, we provide a stronger foundation for the creativity that is so essential to the thriving intellectual community that we value here.”

For more information about the program, go to

Story Kelly Bartling, University Communications

Police issue reminder to update contact information for UNL Alert

As part of National Preparedness Month in September, UNL Police reminds faculty, staff and students to sign up for or to update contact information for UNL Alert, the university’s emergency contact system.

Information that may need to be updated includes new phone numbers (cellular or landline), e-mail address, or other contacts that may have previously been entered into the UNL Alert system.

Fred Gardy, assistant chief of police, said 4,745 faculty and staff, and 5,987 students are registered in UNL Alert.

The UNL Alert sign-up site is Another page on emergency preparation and safety tips is

National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and school by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The goal of the month is to increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies and to encourage individuals to take action.

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