As you know, there have been several recent incidents of crime, many in the Fort Sanders neighborhood adjacent to campus where a large number of our students, faculty and staff live.
I would like to enlist your help in reminding our students about basic safety precautions. This is especially important for those who are studying and attending class at night.
Please take a few minutes in class to mention these tips to students:
- Refrain from walking alone at night. When you do walk, maintain an alert and confident manner, actively paying attention to your surroundings. Travel in groups and use well-lighted paths.
- Be aware of obstacles and unsafe areas. A college campus is a busy place. Always cross streets at crosswalks. Obey signs and warnings about construction areas.
- Whenever possible, call for transportation. The "T" bus system offers several routes at night on campus and in Fort Sanders. 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. For more information, go to http://www.ridethet.com/.
- Program the T:Link phone number (974-4080), UT Police phone number (974-3111) and other emergency contact information into your cell phone so you can access them quickly.
- Lock your home and car doors when you’re gone — and when you are at home.
- Have your keys out and ready before you get to your car or your front door. Look in and under your car before you get in.
- Do not let people into a locked building, residence hall or office unless you live or work with them or they have been properly identified. If the person insists, call the police at 974-3111.
- If you are concerned about security of windows or doors, call the police and get advice about securing them.
- Don’t investigate a suspicious noise or person by yourself.
- Remember that online safety also is vital. Be smart about information you post on services like MySpace, Facebook or other Internet community sites. Don’t post your phone number or address, and be mindful of the possibility of online stalking. Report any suspicious contacts or incidents to the police.
To help spread the word about safety, "Fort Sanders Safety Day" will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3. Police, students, UT officials and neighborhood representatives will staff tents at five sites to distribute safety information, hot chocolate and freebies. Please attend and encourage your students to attend.
The tent locations are:
- The pedestrian bridge beside the 11th Street Parking Garage
- The corner of White Avenue and James Agee
- The corner of 16th Street and Highland Avenue, behind the Laurel Avenue Parking Garage
- The corner of 17th Street and White Avenue, at the White Avenue Parking Garage
- The vacant lot in front of the Lake Avenue Parking Garage
Also, Fort Sanders residents, as well as commuters who use parking garages in the area, will see posters, door hangers and fliers — printed with safety reminders and coffee coupons — going up throughout the area.
UT Police and Knoxville Police have increased patrols in the Fort Sanders area near campus. The additional patrols began Nov. 12 and will continue indefinitely.
While the overall number of crimes has declined in the Fort Sanders area this year, robberies have increased.
A similar event, "Sutherland Village Safety Day," will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the Sutherland Village apartments on Sutherland Avenue.