Police Department

Crime Prevention Tip

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Typical characteristics of a mail or package bomb.


  1. Feel and Balance.  Letters that feel rigid, appear uneven or lopsided, or are bulkier than normal. Is there any springiness or undue pressure that can be felt through the package. Contents of parcel make a sloshing sound. WARNING - EXAMINE MAIL GENTLY!
  2. Foreign Package. If the item is from another country, ask yourself if it's expected. Do you have relatives or friends traveling? Did you buy something from business associates, charitable or religious groups, international organizations, etc.?
  3. Place of Origin.  Is it a familiar one? Note the delivery postmark.
  4. Unrequested Deliveries.  Is correspondence from the sender expected? Do the characteristics of the envelope or package resemble the expected contents? The addressee normally doesn't receive personal mail at the office.
  5. Unusual addressing or Delivery Instructions.  There are unusually restrictive endorsements such as "Personal" or "Private." Unprofessionally wrapped parcel is endorsed "Fragile-Handle with Care" or "Rush-Do not Delay." Name and title of addressee aren't accurate. The sender is unknown. There's no return address.
  6. Smell.  Mailing emits a peculiar odor. There's a smell of almonds or marzipan or any other strange smell coming from the package or letter.
  7. Sender's Writing.  Any mail should be treated with caution if it features a foreign style of writing, not normally received, on the address. This goes along with the Place of Origin.
  8. Protruding Wires.  Are there any protruding wires, tinfoil, or strings present.
  9. Suspicious packaging.  Wrapping exhibits previous use such as traces of glue, mailing labels, return addresses or tape. The parcel is secured with several types of tape. Outer container is shaped irregular or asymmetric or has soft spots or bulges. Use of excessive amount of postage stamps.
  10. Sound.  If there's any unusual sound or noise coming from the package such as a buzzing or ticking noise, the package should be treated with caution.

If a package exhibits any of these warning clues, you must follow these procedures.

If the suspicious package has not been touched.

  • If a suspicious delivery is spotted, do not touch it, and don't allow anyone else to touch it.
  • Evacuate the room. If the device appears to be very large, surrounding rooms should also be evacuated.
  • During evacuation, leave doors and windows open, to reduce any blast effects.
  • Keep people away from the area.
  • CALL UMKC POLICE EMERGENCY AT 9-1-1 OR  235-1515 .
  • Do not handle the suspicious object, and do not try to carry it outside.
  • Do not place the device in water.

If an item is suspected during handling.

  • Place the suspicious item in a corner of the room, handling it very gently and making sure not to turn it over or unbalance it.
  • Make sure the device is placed away from windows, and that the windows are open.
  • Evacuate the room, and surrounding rooms if necessary. During evacuation, leave doors and windows open.
  • Keep people away from the area.
  • CALL UMKC POLICE EMERGENCY AT 9-1-1 OR  235-1515 .
  • Do not try to carry the device outside. Use procedures 1 through 5 above only.


Real or Hoax?

  • Most bomb threats are hoaxes which are made in an effort to disrupt normal business. However, no bomb threat should be dismissed as a hoax without notifying the proper authorities immediately.

    Upon receiving a telephone bomb threat it is important to notify your immediate supervisor and the Police Department as soon as the caller hangs up.

    If you are working at a facility outside the UMKC Police response area, notify the local police at 9-1-1 , and then UMKC Police.

  • Rule Number One - Be Calm. Be Courteous. Listen, do not interrupt the caller.

    Date: ______________________________Time: _______________________

    Exact words of person calling: _______________________________________




  1. When is the bomb going to explode?__________________________________
  2. Where is the bomb right now?_______________________________________
  3. What kind of bomb is it? ____________________________________________
  4. What does it look like? _____________________________________________
  5. Why did you place the bomb?________________________________________

Try to determine the following (circle as appropriate) :


    Male Female Adult Juvenile Age
    Voice: Loud Soft High-pitched Deep Other
    Accent: Local Foreign Region Description
    Speech: Fast Slow Distorted
    Stutter Slurred Nasal
    Language: Excellent Good Fair Poor Other
    Manner: Calm Angry Rational Irrational Coherent
    Incoherent Deliberate Emotional Righteous Laughing
    Bedlam Trains Animals
    Music Voices Airplanes Street Traffic
    Mixed Party Other

    Additional Information: ____________________________________________


    Immediately after the call, notify your supervisor and the UMKC Police Department. Do not talk to anyone unless instructed to do so by your supervisor or UMKC Police.
    _____________________ _________________ ____________________l
    Receiving Telephone Number
    Person Receiving Call


UMKC Police Department

911 on a
Campus Phone

(816) 235-1515
Crime Prevention Unit
  Officer Jalonn Gordon

(816) 235-1716

Contact Information

UMKC Police Department
5005 Oak St.
Kansas City, MO 64112
Emergency Dial 9-1-1
Phone: 816-235-1515
Fax: 816-235-5501
Office hours: 24 hours per day
7 days per week
365 days per year.