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Department of Police

Threat Assessment

What is the Behavioral Intervention Team?

The Behavioral Intervention Team is a multidisciplinary group of administrators, faculty, and staff that are responsible for evaluating and responding to reports regarding students whose behaviors may pose a threat to the safety of the campus community. The Team’s primary concern is promoting a safe learning environment by assisting individuals in addressing behavioral and / or personal challenges. The Team will provide a systematic response to campus situations involving individuals exhibiting signs of serious emotional distress, and/or engaging in harmful or disruptive behaviors.  In addition, the Team endeavors to provide professional development activities that will assist members of the college community with strategies for responding to distressed and distressing students in the campus setting.

How does the BIT function?
In accordance with Reynolds Policy 1-22, Behavioral Intervention, the Team reviews reports related to behavioral incidents on campus, investigates the nature of the incidents, and makes recommendations on how the behavior can be addressed in the future at the College.  The Team meets bi-weekly throughout the semester.  Team members consist of representatives from the following areas:  student affairs, campus police, human resources, a licensed mental health therapist, teaching faculty, and representative(s) from Academic Affairs.

How do I know when behavior may be of concern on campus?
There are several signs that indicate when a behavior may be of concern. Below are descriptions of behaviors that should be forwarded to the Behavioral Intervention Team:

Symptoms of Emotional Distress

Low Risk

To report a student of concern, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 523-5296 or complete the Behavioral Intervention Referral Form (Behavioral Intervention Referral Form).

      Depressed, irritable, or apathetic mood

      Rapid mood swings accompanied by excessive talkativeness, activity level, or excitability

      Extremely poor academic performance or a change from high to low grades

      Missed tests or an inability to remain awake in class

      Excessive absences, especially if prior class attendance was good

      Unusual or noticeably changed interaction patterns in the classroom (such as withdrawal from family & friends)

     Noticeable change in appearance and hygiene

     Verbal expressions of hopelessness or thoughts of death & dying

     Excessive worrying

     Significant change in life circumstances (such as job loss, death of a loved one, divorce)

      Suspected alcohol or drug abuse

Moderate Risk


To report a student of concern, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 523-5296 or complete the Behavioral Intervention Referral Form (Behavioral Intervention Referral Form).

  History of aggression, violence, bullying, or stalking behaviors

Destruction of personal and/or school property

Defiance of and/or contempt for authority, rules, limits

Excessively argumentative or numerous conflicts in interpersonal interactions

Verbal aggression (use of derogatory or profane language)

Hostile tone of voice and threatening or intimidating behaviors or body language

 Comments about weapons or stories of harming others

Intense and inappropriate reactions, such as prolonged irritability or angry outbursts

Excessive distrust or paranoia of others

Perceived harassment, bullying, or ostracizing by others

   Attempts to isolate self from others

Identifying or idolizing individuals who have engaged in acts of violence against others

   Preoccupation with weapons, violent events or activities, or hate groups

  Communications (either verbal, written, or via email) containing aggressive and possibly violent content

    Suspected alcohol or drug abuse

High Risk

Call 911 or contact Reynolds Police Department at 523-5911 immediately.

 

Verbal or written threats to harm self or others

Recent attempts to obtain weapons

Self-injurious behaviors (such as self-cutting, self-burning)

  Preparing for death (such as giving away possessions, saying goodbye, writing a will)

History of previous suicide attempts

 Loss of contact with reality (seeing/hearing/feeling things not apparent to others, thoughts or behavior inconsistent with reality)

• Disturbed speech or communication content (incoherent speech, grandiose beliefs, disorganized or rambling or paranoid thoughts)

When should I report a behavior?
If you have concerns about a person or situation, you are strongly encouraged to share the information, even if you think if may be nothing.  The information you provide, no matter how trivial it may seem, may be critical to understanding a broader range of problematic or threatening behavior.

How can I assist someone whose behavior is of concern?
If you experience someone whose behavior is of concern, you may assist by doing the following:

For individuals exhibiting emotionally distressed behaviors (the HEART approach):

  • Hear - Extend a genuine statement of interest in and concern for the individual.  Listen in a non-judgmental fashion. Individuals in distress often feel very vulnerable and are sensitive to real or imagined criticism.  Avoid embarrassing the individual in front of a group.  If possible, take the person aside and speak to them individually. Speak in a calm voice and remain emotionally neutral and matter-of-fact in your approach. State clearly in behavioral terms what you have noticed that has led to your concern (e.g., “I’ve noticed that you’ve been absent from class lately, and I’ve been concerned. How are you doing?”)
  • Empathize - Support begins with understanding.  Acknowledge what you have heard and let the individual know that you understand. Reflect feelings and summarize the individual’s concerns.
  • Assess – Does the individual possess the resources and skills to handle the situation or resolve the problem as well as manage their stress?  Is the individual having thoughts of harm to self or others?  Contrary to popular belief, most individuals who are experiencing disturbing thoughts are relieved to talk about them with someone who can listen in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Refer – Be aware of signs and symptoms that this individual may require professional help.  Be honest with the individual about your concerns.  Do not agree to be secretive about his/her problem.  The Office of Student Affairs can assist in finding the appropriate help.
  • Tell – Do not ignore remarks about suicide or intent to harm another. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for college students.  Call 911 or contact Reynolds Police & Security Services at 523-5911 or Reynolds Office of Student Affairs at 523-5296.

For individuals exhibiting distressing (alarming or threatening) behaviors:

  • If the individual’s behavior is disrupting the learning environment, take them aside and speak to them privately.  If you have concerns about possible aggression, meet with the individual in a location where others are present who can provide assistance.
  • Address the individual in a calm voice and emotionally neutral manner.  Speak slowly, confidently, and quietly.  Remain as calm as possible and control your anger. 

If you are uncomfortable addressing a student, please contact the Office of Student Affairs. Staff in the office will assist you in addressing the matter.

Emergencies
(804) 523-5911
Non-emergencies
(804) 523-5219

Parham Road Campus
Communications Center and Headquarters
Burnette Hall, Suite 100
(804) 523-5219

Downtown Campus  
Room 122
(804) 523-5219

Goochland Campus  
(804) 523-5407