UPDATE on Active Threat Message

Posted: August 20, 2019 at 8:55 pm

Dear Mason Community,

I want to update you on information we have learned about the message that inadvertently announced a dangerous person on campus Tuesday morning, August 20th.

First, let me say how grateful I am that this wasn’t a real situation and that everyone is safe. That is our top priority.

We also want answers as to why this happened. We determined that the active threat message sent out this morning was accidently sent by one of our vendors during a product demonstration. The vendor has acknowledged their mistake.  As a result of this incident, the university is reevaluating the contract and services provided by this vendor.  The university’s notification systems are being reconfigured to prevent this from occurring in the future.

Many Mason Alert users did not receive the initial active threat message.  The reason for this is that the vendor conducting the product demonstration cancelled the message shortly after it was sent; messages that are cancelled during distribution will not go to all Mason Alert users.

Finally, we know that receiving an active threat message can be frightening. The university has counselors available to speak with students, faculty and staff. Clinicians from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available to facilitate individual and group conversations and to share information about coping with fear.  CAPS is located in SUB 1, Suite 3129, (703) 993-2380, www.caps.gmu.edu. Faculty and staff may contact the Employee Assistance Program through their health insurance plan to arrange for confidential counseling services.  If an employee has additional questions or concerns, they may contact Human Resources & Payroll, (703) 993-2600, located in Merten Hall, Suite 4100.

Respectfully,

 

David Farris, PhD

Executive Director of Safety & Emergency Management

George Mason University