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Volume 68, Issue 109, Wedenesday, March 12, 2003


TSU threat prompts UH precautions

By Angie Ping
News Reporter

An investigation into a bomb threat that put Texas Southern University on high alert and resulted in a shutdown of the campus Monday is under way, a TSU spokesperson said.

Following the threat, the UH Police Department described the preparations UH has undertaken in the case of a bomb threat.

UH has measures in place for threats made against any or all of the buildings on campus, although each case is treated differently depending on the circumstances, UHPD Lt. Richard Storemski said. A form is distributed across campus to record threats that are made so information can be gathered.

The form contains questions for a person receiving a threat to ask -- for example, "When is the bomb going to explode?" and "What does it look like?" The listener is also asked to make observations regarding the calleris voice, background noises and what type of language is used.

"We take each incident and investigate it," UHPD Lt. Rita Bazile said. Making a bomb threat is a criminal offense, and "if they are caught they will be prosecuted," Bazile said.

UHPD cannot determine whether the campus needs to be evacuated, Bazile said. Only the UH administration has the authority to evacuate.

"We would pull the fire alarm first if we did find something," Storemski said. The administration would then be notified, Bazile said.

The president of the University, according to the UH evacuation policy, will announce any evacuation of all or part of the campus grounds.

"All persons are to immediately vacate the area in question. Instructors and their designees are responsible for aiding handicapped persons. Patrol cars will announce and direct traffic off campus," the policy states.

Since the TSU bomb threat was not made to one specific building, all the buildings had to be evacuated, TSU director of communications LaChanda Jenkins said. The campus was closed for the day.

Nothing was found during a search of all the buildings on campus, Jenkins said.

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