As you know, the University has received a number of e-mail bomb threats in the past few weeks. Regrettably, we and several other universities have received another one for tomorrow. The FBI has analyzed the latest threat and concluded that the message, which does not specify The University of Akron, is a low-level threat. Though we will be open tomorrow, we understand that this threat, coming on the heels of the others and in conjunction with the anniversary of 9/11, will cause some anxiety in people. We are, therefore, taking every step to enhance security on campus in conjunction with other area law-enforcement agencies. For security reasons, we cannot give specifics but can assure you that the increased police presence will be noticeable.
UA has not been the only university dealing with the problem of bomb-threat hoaxes. Besides us, the University of Iowa, Indiana University, Middle Tennessee State, Kenyon College, Princeton University, Carnegie-Mellon University and more than a dozen other schools have all received similar threats. The FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), the Department of Homeland Security and our campus police department, along with others, are investigating the incidents.
Regardless, The University of Akron treats any threat seriously and will not be drawn into complacency. We will continue to adhere to National Incident Management Safety protocols and take all necessary steps to help assure the safety of students, faculty, staff and guests.
You should know that the University has its own police department with 35 officers that operates around the clock on campus and in surrounding neighborhoods. Our officers are specially trained to respond to and investigate bomb threats and similar incidents. We also have called on city, county, state and federal law-enforcement agencies to assist us, and we are grateful for their support.
We have announced publicly our intent to prosecute anyone responsible for sending threatening e-mail under state and federal laws. As you probably know, we have charged a nonstudent in connection with one of the threats we have received.
For students, faculty and staff who feel anxious about the events of recent weeks, we have counselors available in our Counseling, Testing and Career Center in Simmons Hall. A free appointment can be set up by calling 330-972-7082.
While we have no control over the threats we receive, we will continue to do all we can to help assure the safety and security of students, faculty, staff and all who visit our campus, and we will keep you informed. Should circumstances change or the assessed threat level increase, updates will be sent via email to all and text message to those subscribed. As always, the latest updates will be available at www.uakron.edu and at 330-972-SNOW (7660).
Your concern and support are appreciated.
Chief Paul Callahan
Assistant Vice President of Campus Safety