Public Safety Response to Philadelphia Area Threat



Molly Borgese

Authorities from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) have issued a warning to local universities in the Philadelphia region after disclosing a threat of violence was generated via social media earlier today.  Federal officials alerted universities that a possible act of violence will take place tomorrow, October 5. According to the FBI, no official college or university was targeted in the posting.

University students received a safety advisory via email this afternoon at 2:21 p.m. from Director of Public Safety, David Tedjeske. Tedjeske warned students to  “remain aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity or behavior to the Department of Public Safety.”

When asked if students should proceed to classes tomorrow morning, Tedjeske said ”Because the information the federal authorities received is not specific to Villanova University, we will be open tomorrow for classes and regular activities. We do not believe that cancelling normal activities in response to this unspecified information is warranted.”

Coincidentally, university midterm examinations begin tomorrow for students, causing panic and confusion amongst campus.  Students who live off campus fear attending classes and exams due to the threat. “I found the email sent by David Tedjeske unsettling,” says Senior Jessica Goldberg of Princeton, NJ. “Just days after a massive school shooting (referencing the shooting this past week at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, in which nine people were killed by a gunman during a class session), I don’t think anyone feels safe going to class knowing there is even the slightest chance of the same incident happening on Villanova’s campus. I understand all of the reasons not to cancel school, but at the same time, why should any of us take the risk?”

Students who reside on campus were not given any additional information or safety precautions regarding residence surroundings.

Tedjeske explained that “If every regional college closed tomorrow, an individual intent on carrying out violence might simply choose another date. We therefore do not believe that cancelling normal activities in response to this unspecified information is warranted. Simply put, stopping our lives is not the answer.”

The Department of Public Safety will take extra precautions tomorrow, adding additional patrols and enlisting the assistance of the Radnor Police Department.  When asked about the involvement in campus security for tomorrow, Radnor Police Officers declined comment to The Villanovan, yet stated the threat was “not credible,” meaning that although local authorities are taking all necessary precautions, the threat has not been confirmed as real or immediate due to the nature of its origins as an anonymous internet comment.