UMass Boston

Workplace Violence Management

Reduce the possibility of threats or acts of violence by using the following suggestions:

  1. Treat all co-workers, community members and the public with respect.
  2. Listen carefully and thoroughly before speaking.
  3. Acknowledge the other person’s distress.
  4. Project understanding, care, commitment.

If you become upset or angry, remove yourself from the situation and find a supervisor or co-worker to assist you.

If an actual or potentially violent situation occurs:

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Call UMass Boston Police or Dial 911.
  3. Attempt to leave the area.
  4. Do NOT touch the person.
  5. Never challenge or bargain with a threatening person.
  6. Do not make promises you cannot keep.
  7. Do not attempt to disarm or restrain the person.
  8. Keep your comments direct, factual, and concise.
  9. If it is possible to answer questions without jeopardizing your safety, do so to clarify the situation.
  10. If possible, without jeopardizing your safety, attempt to warn other community members.
  11. If safe to do so, communicate with others to prevent people from entering the area.

A violent or threatening person situation is more likely to de-escalate if someone approaches him or her calmly and confidently, without anger or defensiveness. If you attempt to communication with the person, keep your comments direct, factual, and concise. There will be time later to discuss the details.

If you believe using the phone will escalate the situation, ask a co-worker to call using some prearranged signal. that you worked out for your office area. This signal should alert your co-worker to quietly call the Police and notified them of the situation.

When calling the Police Department:

  1. If the aggressor is not in the immediate area, give direct, concise information about the situation.
  2. Provide the Police Dispatcher with your location.
  3. Provide the Police Dispatcher with your name.
  4. Provide the Police Dispatcher with the type of incident.
  5. Provide the Police Dispatcher with details about weapons.

If the "911" call is made in the presence of the aggressor, you do not have to give the details to the Police. Police Officers will ALWAYS respond to any 911 call to the best of their ability to the location of the call, even if you are unable speak. Please be aware that all phone calls to the Police Department are recorded.

General Information about Emergency Situations:

If you are working alone or after hours, you may find your options for staff assistance to be limited, be prepared to call "911" directly. Whenever working during off business hours, keep your office doors locked and whenever possible do not work alone.

If you are asked to leave by people responsible for the area or Police Officers, DO SO IMMEDIATELY. There will be time later to learn the details.

Wait for the “all-clear” notice before returning to the affect area. This will be given either by the Police Department or a designated coordinator or supervisor.

Information gathering and/or debriefing will occur after the safety of the area or workplace has been restored. Community members affected by the situation may be asked to provide information to the Police Department for report/investigative purposes. You may be asked to provide a witness statement.

When all the facts are known and the parties involved have had a chance to collect themselves, debriefing/information dissemination may occur. Defending on the event and the severity of the situation, the Police Department in consultation with others, will determine the most appropriate means and timing for the communication about the situation.

UMass Boston Police
Quinn Administration Building, 1st Floor, Room 100
Emergency: 911
Cell Phone Emergency: 617.287.7777
General Information: 617.287.7799
Police Dispatch: 617.287.7780, 617.287.7781
Police Tip Line: 617.287.5555