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UT Police Chief August WashingtonMany of you have heard me talk about the University of Tennessee Police Department’s motto of "Enforcement Through Cooperation." The phrase refers to the vital partnership between the police department and the campus community.

As a member of the faculty and staff, you play a key role in ensuring the safety of our campus. In working closely with students, colleagues and visitors, you’ll often be the first to notice a condition or circumstance that could affect safety.

While police on university and college campuses receive the same training as our city and county counterparts, the people we serve and the unique territory we cover make our jobs different, but in my opinion even more rewarding.

Our sworn and civilian employees have the opportunity to interact with students and impact their lives in a positive way. While we must enforce state laws and campus regulations, we take just as seriously our role in helping students have a good experience at UT. We strive to make interactions with students and all the people we serve as positive as possible.

We depend on you to let us know about unsafe conditions or other potential threats. We also work closely with the Dean of Students office and others to identify members of our campus community who may need counseling or mental health assistance.

UTPD DecalThis month UT had the honor of being a kickoff site for National Safety Campus Awareness Month. We take safety very seriously, and we are glad to be recognized on the national level for taking proactive measures, such as the UT ALERT notification system and the 16th Street Corridor project.

Education and outreach are key factors in promoting a safe campus environment, and staff and faculty play a large role in utilizing and promoting the many resources available. Our Community Relations Unit has increased in staffing and outreach efforts to provide more education and crime prevention programming. We are involved in freshman and new employee orientation, personal safety and workplace violence programming, Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training and drug/alcohol abuse programs.

We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with all members of the campus community. We are here to serve everyone. I urge faculty and staff to not be afraid to call us at 974-3114 whenever you need assistance or want to share information with us.