Threat Assessment FAQs

What is the Threat Assessment Team?

The Threat Assessment Team is a group of trained professionals from different departments across campus who discuss and evaluate behaviors of concern that could precede a violent event. This could be violence to self, others, campus, or the Loyola community. This team addresses behaviors of concern and provides resources to help keep the Loyola University campus a safe working and learning environment.

Why does Loyola University have a team?

Loyola University has a team to allow campus officials from different departments to address concerning behaviors and act quickly to prevent targeted acts of violence.

When does the team meet?

The team meets regularly and as needed for specific situations.

What training do people on the team have?

Team members have received extensive training in threat assessment from experts in the field. Additionally, team members are considered experts in their professions and use this expertise to inform threat assessment decisions.

Are cases managed on a first-come, first served basis?

Cases are NOT managed on a first-come, first served basis. All cases are triaged and the most imminent cases are managed first. All cases, regardless of the immediacy, will be reviewed and managed in the manner most appropriate for the situation.

What is the difference between the Threat Assessment Team and the Behavioral Intervention Team?

The Threat Assessment Team deals with anyone (student, employee, non-affiliated) who may pose a threat to Loyola University. The Behavioral Intervention Team is a student assistance team designed to aid students with any problems that may arise during his/her time as a student. While the two teams are separate entities, a few key administrators serve on both teams. An incident may first be reviewed on one team, and then during the discussion it becomes apparent that it should be on the other team. The case is then moved to the agenda of the other team for management. As a reporting party, you do not need to decide where you should share your concern; once you share your concern, the information will be forwarded to the appropriate team.

Why do I matter to the team?

You matter to the team because you interact with people on campus and can notice a change in their behavior. A change in behavior is one of the first indicators that something is wrong and the person needs assistance.

What are some behaviors that could indicate someone needs help?

See What To Report.

If I am concerned about a situation, when should I share what I know with the team?

You should share what you know with the team when you feel the individual needs intervention or assistance. The earlier the team receives information, the more options we have to assist the person you are concerned about.

How is threat assessment different from profiling?

Profiling is commonly used as an investigative tool after a crime is committed to describe the type of person likely to commit that particular crime. Threat assessment is designed to be a preventative process used to identify warning signs and intervene before someone commits a violent act.

Is this team designed to stop the next school shooter?

Threat assessment is designed to connect people in distress with necessary resources to help them deal with the stressors in their lives. This team is designed to prevent a wide array of harm on campus-- not just the next school shooter.

What do I do if I’m concerned about someone? Whom do I tell?

Please see How to Report.

Who can report a concerning behavior?

Anyone can report a concerning behavior, and our team encourages you to share any information you have. You may not feel like you have all of the information, but you don’t need to. Let our trained team gather all relevant information and help the person, if needed. The earlier you share your information with us, the more resources we have to assist the person you are concerned about.

What do you do with the information I provide to you?

After we receive the initial information, a member of the team will check with offices across campus to determine if other concerning behaviors are being displayed by the person you are concerned about. The team will discuss the behaviors of concern and create an action plan to assist the individual, if needed. Some cases will require no further action, and some cases will be referred to a specific office on campus for monitoring or provision of services.

How do I know you are addressing the situation?

ALL reports submitted to TAT are assessed, though not all reports will indicate a potential for violence. Reports that do not indicate the potential for violence will be forwarded to the appropriate office or personnel for handling.

When will I receive an update or feedback about the situation?

As the reporting party, someone may contact you about your concern and/or to see if you have any additional information. However, due to the volume of reports received, and the need for discretion, TAT may not always follow up with the person making a report. Additionally, due to the confidentiality of most cases, only some information is likely to be shared with you.

If I make a report what is my role in the process?

As a reporting party, you serve an important role in the monitoring of the situation because of your interaction with the subject. We would like to have you as an ally in this process to inform us if the management plan with the individual plan is working. If you have shared a concern, and see no change in behavior, or continue to be worried about the situation, please contact a TAT member.

What happens to someone if I say something?

Most importantly, the person you are concerned about will receive assistance if you share your concern. The information you provide will be evaluated to determine what action is necessary to address the situation. If necessary, the team will contact the individual to provide assistance. Only in extenuating circumstances will the team identify you when talking with the person you are concerned about.

I’m worried about someone I know, but I don’t think it’s serious enough to say anything about. What should I do? I don’t want to get him or her in trouble.

It may not seem serious to you, but you may only know part of the story. Remember this phrase: “It may be nothing, but…” Your concern may turn out to be nothing, but it also may be something very important. Let our team decide if the person you know needs assistance. If you share your concern with us, you will not get the person in trouble; you will allow the team to help him or her.

Do I need to have evidence or proof that something is wrong with someone?

No, you do not need to have evidence to share a concern. Oftentimes if something doesn’t seem right, or you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, your concern needs to be shared. The team will review the situation and act in the best interest of the person.

What if I am wrong about someone?

It’s okay to be wrong. TAT will assess all concerns that are shared and determine whether a response is needed. As long as a report is made in good faith, there will be no fault placed on the reporting person. If you intentionally create a false report, you may be subject to university sanctions.

Should I talk to the person first and tell him/her that I’m sharing my concern?

You do not need to tell the person you are sharing information with the team. Let the team review the situation, and the team will address it with him/her if necessary.

Will the person know that I shared information about him/her? I don’t want him/her to think I "tattled."

We try to keep your identity private, but we cannot guarantee that your identity will remain confidential. The team, in conjunction with LUPD, will work with you to ensure your safety through the process.

Can I make an anonymous report?

You are encouraged to identify yourself because you can assist the team if clarification or additional information is needed. Anonymous entries will be evaluated based on the information provided. However, providing incomplete information may not allow the individual to receive the help or resources needed.

As a university, can’t you just make people leave campus if they are a problem?

When people remain part of the Loyola University community, on-campus resources are available to them, and campus administrators are in contact with them to provide support they might not have if they were removed from campus. If the situation warrants removing the person from campus, the appropriate steps will be taken to do so. Removal from campus is only implemented in certain situations and done after proper information has been gathered and reviewed.

What if something happens off campus that I am concerned about?

If you are aware of concerning behavior happening off campus that could affect the safety of the Loyola University community, please share your concern with the TAT.

If someone who has been reviewed by the Threat Assessment Team leaves the area, do you continue to monitor him/her?

If the situation warrants reviewing the case after the subject leaves the area, the team will continue to do so. It is important to remember that when the subject has relationships in his/her life, there is a lesser chance for violence to occur. A failure to communicate or interact with a subject encourages problems to fester, which could lead to violence.