Suspicious Packages and Letters

Characteristics of a suspicious letter or package include if it:

  • Is open or has been opened.
  • Appears to be empty.
  • Has been mailed from a foreign country.
  • Has poorly typed or handwritten addresses.
  • Bears a threatening message.

What to Do

  1. Stay calm.
  2. Call TCCD Police Dispatch at 817-515-8911.
  3. Do not carry, shake, or empty the contents.
  4. Do not allow others to handle/examine the package/letter.
  5. If the content spills, do not try to clean up any powder. Cover the spill immediately with anything (clothing, paper, trash can) and do no remove the covering.
  6. If content is aerosolized or a small explosion occurs, turn off all local fans or ventilation units in the area. Shut down all air handling systems in the building.
  7. Alert others in the area about the suspicious package or envelope.
  8. Leave the area, close any doors and take actions to prevent others from entering the area. Take your essential belongings with you in case returning is delayed.
  9. Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading potential infections to others.
  10. Stay in the area until instructed otherwise by police. They will arrange the appropriate medical attention and follow-up procedures as necessary.
  11. Make a list of all the people in the room or area where the suspicious letter or package was recognized or opened, in the event that a follow-up is needed.

How to Recognize a Suspicious Package

One indicator of a suspicious package or piece or mail includes inappropriate or unusual labeling, such as:

  • Excessive postage
  • Misspelled common words
  • No return address or strange return address
  • Postmarks that do not match the return address
  • Unusual addressing, such as not being addressed to a specific person, or the use of incorrect titles or titles with no name
  • Restrictive markings, such as "personal", "confidential" or "do not x-ray"

Other indicators include an unusual or inappropriate appearance, including:

  • Powdery substance felt through or appearing on the item
  • Oily stains or discolorations on the exterior
  • Strange odor
  • Excessive packaging materials, such as tape or string
  • Lopsided or bulky shaped envelopes and boxes
  • Ticking sounds, protruding wires or exposed aluminum foil

Updated January 20, 2023