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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, May 27, 2024

Department of Public Safety announces new threat communication and assessment plan

Dowling Hall, the home of Tufts' public safety department, is pictured on Dec. 15, 2022.

Executive Director of Public Safety Yolanda Smith wrote in an all-campus email Tuesday that only “credible” threats would trigger public safety alerts going forward, following a string of bomb threats that rocked campus in December and seemingly began anew earlier this week. 

The announcement comes just a day after students shuffling back into their dorm rooms were greeted not only by their peers and a fresh layer of snow but also by a slightly less cheery familiar sight: an urgent public safety message. 

“The university has received another threat that may be related to recent events,” the alert read. It was the Department of Public Safety’s eighth such message since mid-December — and its first of the new year. 

While the details of Monday’s threat remain unclear, the alert that it prompted may be the last one for some time. Smith said Tuesday that authorities would only sound the alarm for threats that warrant a “need for action by community members.” 

“As has been the case with many of the threats, Tufts was not singled out but rather included in a list of local organizations,” Smith wrote of Monday’s threat.

Smith urged students and other community members not to be concerned if media outlets report additional threats that the university chose not to publicize. 

“Because the perpetrators sometimes copy the news media on these threats, it is possible that you might hear about a threat from traditional or social media outlets unrelated to Tufts,” Smith wrote. “If this occurs, please know that we are aware of the threats and have determined that a community alert is not warranted.”

Smith also explained that the security measures outlined in December will remain in place with increased security patrols as well as collaboration with municipal and state agencies. 

“The multi-agency investigation into these threats is continuing, and we remain focused on finding the responsible party or parties,” Smith wrote.