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Office of Police & Public Safety

Working with the Community to Prevent Violence

Campus violence prevention depends on you, the Morgan State community, to observe and refer potentially troublesome behaviors or situations before they result in harm.  A person that receives help sooner, rather than later, may be less likely to experience more severe symptoms or cause harm to self or others. Thus, threat assessment is a supportive process, not a disciplinary or punitive one. 

The Behavior Emergency Assessment and Response Team (BEAR Team) depends of the referrals of the community – students, faculty, staff, and visitors – in order to help maintain a safe and enriching campus for all who live, study, and work here. Behaviors do not necessarily have to be law violations to be worrisome. In addition to illegal conduct such as threats, assault and harassment, the B.E.A.R. team may also evaluate changing circumstances or behaviors that may singularly or in combination generate concern.  The Team evaluates all referrals seriously, though not all behaviors warrant further case management at that time.

How You Can Help
There are many behaviors and circumstances that may indicate an increasing risk for violence, significant disruption to others, or that a person is in need of assistance.  The significance of any one behavior or circumstance is often difficult to determine. Therefore, the threat assessment process is designed to review the situation in context of all of the facts that can be known.  

Violence, especially that targeted toward a specific victim, most commonly stems from the interaction of 4 factors:

S - The subject who may take violent action
T - The vulnerabilities of the target or victim
E - An environment that facilitates, permits, or does not discourage violence
P - Any precipitating events that may trigger reactions

Following are examples of behaviors and circumstances, from each of the primary factors,  that may serve as indicators of developing concerns. These examples are meant to help you identify potential concerns during your daily interactions with others. These examples are NOT all-inclusive and this information is not intended to be used as a checklist.

If you are aware of a situation that has indicators of concern like the ones listed below, please share what you know with the B.E.A.R. Team by completing the online referral form.

Some behaviors exhibited by subjects who may escalate to disruptive or violent actions

  • Attempts to harm or kill self
  • Unexplained increases in absenteeism
  • Dramatically decreased performance in work or academics
  • Resistance to change or reasonable limits
  • Over-reaction to changes in policies/procedures
  • Extreme or sudden changes in behavior
  • Numerous conflict with others
  • Difficulty learning from past behaviors or experiences
  • Displays paranoia or distrust
  • Alienates others or isolates oneself from others
  • Makes statements indicating approval of use of violence to resolve a problem
  • Identifies with or idolizes persons who have engaged in violence toward others.

The vulnerabilities of the target

  • Unclear or inconsistent expectations
  • Consistency of travel/ movement/ patterns
  • Denial in the face of a clear threat posed
  • Putting oneself in harms way
  • Ease of access

An environment that facilitates, permits, or does not discourage violence

  • Chronic unresolved conflict
  • Environmentally induced levels of stress
  • Toleration of aggressive or hostile interactions
  • Perceived distrust/ devaluing
  • Existence of pecking order/ cliques
  • Cyber bullying and social media slander

Any precipitating events that may trigger reactions

  • Losses (such as):
    • Job/ Income
    • Status
    • Significant other/ relationship
  • Perceived rejection or injustice
  • Ostracized by others
  • Health problems (e.g., head injuries)

Note that such precipitating events may be real, perceived, or anticipated by the subject of concern.