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Law Enforcement and Safety

Suspicious Activity or Package

If you notice a situation or activity that seems odd or out of place, don't be afraid to speak up.

What To Do

If you see suspicious activity...

Call USCPD at 911 in an emergency or at 803-777-4215.
Tell the dispatcher:

  • Your location
  • The person's behavior and what you saw
  • The person's physical description and location/direction of travel
  • Where and when it happened

Stay on the phone until you are released by the dispatcher.

DO NOT engage in a physical confrontation with the person or block their exit.

Types of Suspicious Activity Include...

  • A person(s) running or leaving quickly — as if he or she were being watched or chased
  • A person(s) hauling property — lab equipment, laptops, books, bikes — at an unusual time or location
  • A person(s) going door to door in a residence hall or office
  • A person(s) pulling on multiple doorknobs or trying to open residence hall/office rooms
  • A person(s) pulling on car door handles or looking into multiple vehicles
  • A person(s) forcibly entering a locked vehicle or door
  • Car or person(s) repeatedly circulating the area
  • A person(s) being forced into a vehicle
  • Strange noises — arguing, yelling, gunshots, etc.
  • A person(s) exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms — person may be injured or under the influence of drugs
  • A person(s) who photographs, videotapes, sketches, or asks detailed questions about power plants, buildings, bridges, hospitals, utility infrastructure, etc.
  • A person(s) who doesn’t belong or who tries to gain access into a restricted area


If you see a suspicious package...

1. Stay away from the package.
Do not allow anyone to handle or go near the package. DO NOT use cell phones, radios or other wireless devices around the package.

2. Call USCPD at 911 in an emergency or 803-777-4215.
Tell the dispatcher the location of the package and give a description. Stay on the phone until you are released by the dispatcher.

3. If you touched the package: Wash your hands with soap and water for fifteen minutes.

Signs of a Suspicious Package

  • Package or envelope with suspicious powdery substance
  • Unexpected package sent by someone unfamiliar to you
  • Excessive postage
  • Poorly written or typed address
  • Incorrect title(s) with no names
  • Misspelling of common words or names
  • Addressed to someone no longer at the address
  • Outdated postmarks
  • No return address, or one that can’t be identified as legitimate
  • Return address not consistent with postmark
  • Unusual weight, given the package size
  • Lopsided or oddly shaped
  • Unusual amount of tape, string or other wrapping material
  • Marked with restrictive labels such as “fragile”, “personal”, “confidential” or “rush-do-not-delay”.
  • Strange odor, stains or noises such as rattling, clicking or ticking
  • Appears to contain electrical wire or aluminum foil
  • Country of foreign origin, unfamiliar to you or the recipient

Consider the specific circumstances when evaluating these signs. The presence of one characteristic may not necessarily mean a package is dangerous, but if in doubt, call USCPD.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.