KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee and Knoxville police departments are teaming to increase patrols in the Fort Sanders area near campus.
The additional patrols will begin tonight.
Fort Sanders is adjacent to campus and not UT property, but many students live in houses and apartments there.
“The UT and Knoxville police departments have joined in a collaborative effort to reduce the serious incidents that have occurred in areas contiguous with the university,” UT Police Chief August Washington said. “We encourage students living in Fort Sanders to help us by reporting suspicious people, watching out for their neighbors and practicing safe habits such as locking doors and walking in groups.”
KPD Chief Sterling P. Owen said using officers and resources from both departments will help Fort Sanders residents.
“Anytime two law enforcement agencies can combine resources, the community is the beneficiary,” Owen said. “Since the Fort Sanders area has traditionally been a residential neighborhood for UT students, the new combined KPD and UTPD patrols will add a unique element in the fight to make the area as safe as possible for the residents.”
While the overall number of crimes actually has declined in the area this year, the number of robberies has increased. A more thorough process of informing students, faculty and staff through broadcast e-mails and fliers when crimes happen also has heightened awareness.
The joint effort will consist of a KPD and UTPD officer patrolling together in cars and on foot.
The officers will be watching out for students walking alone and caution them to be alert, walk in well-lit areas and use the “T” bus system or walk in groups. They also will target suspicious people and make arrests if necessary.
The patrols will last indefinitely.
The police departments already have several crime prevention measures in place including using the “Skywatch” aerial surveillance unit, unmarked vehicles, officers on foot and community service officers in trucks.
UT Police urge all members of the campus community to lock their doors at all times, avoid walking alone at night and to contact them any time they need assistance or notice anything suspicious.
The “T” bus system offers several routes at night on campus and in Fort Sanders. For more information, go to http://www.ridethet.com/.
There also is an on-demand van service called T:Link that runs from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Call (865) 974-4080 for a ride.
Capt. Keith Lambert, UTPD, (865) 974-3114
Darrell DeBusk, KPD, (865) 215-7210
Amy Blakely, UT Media Relations, (865) 974-5034, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Davis, UT Media Relations, (865) 974-5179, email@example.com