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EWU Police Department
820 Washington
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.4021
fax: 509.359.6054

Disruptive Person/Workplace Violence

When confronted with a problem person:

  • Get assistance from a colleague and call 911 if there is any doubt about your personal safety or the safety of those around you.  If the person verbalizes or engages in physical violence have someone call 911 immediately.
  • Be calm and polite but firm.  Maintain an outward appearance of composure.  This helps to defuse tension.
  • Separate the person from others but remain in the public eye; get help from other staff.  Do not take the person or allow yourself to be taken to a private area.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.  Do not let the person put you into a corner or other position from which you can't flee.  Keep the person at least a leg-length away so they can't reach you.
  • Evaluate the situation and think carefully before responding.
  • Try to remain attentive, concerned, and avoid using a tone of voice which is loud, condescending, or moralistic.  Empathize with the person, acknowledge their feelings.
  • Listen carefully for clues as to the person's motivation and likely causes of behavior.
  • Do not physically touch, crowd, or confront the person.

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