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Just in time for the new academic year, the UT Police Department has launched new initiatives to enhance safety by keeping the campus and surrounding community more informed.

The new efforts include an anonymous tip service and improved efforts to share information about UTPD’s enforcement and prevention activities.

Tip411, a national anonymous text messaging program, adds a new dimension to the “eyes and ears” on the street by providing another avenue for sharing information with police.

The program is an Internet-based tool that allows the public to text message an anonymous tip to police and the police to respond, creating a two-way anonymous conversation. Tip411’s technology removes all identifying information before police personnel read the message so there is no way to identify the sender.

Anyone with a cell phone can now send an anonymous tip by texting the letters “UTPD” followed by the tip information to Tip411 (847411). Anonymous tips can also be submitted via UTPD’s website. A new Tip411 app for iPhone and Android smartphones will be available soon.

“We’re proud to be part of a national program that benefits more than 1,000 communities around the county,” said UTPD Chief Troy Lane. “This new capability will help our community play an active role in keeping our university safer, and it will save our agency time and resources.

“When someone feels afraid to come forward, or simply feels like they don’t want to get involved, this can be a great way to pass information on without fear of retribution,” said Lane.

UTPD also has ramped up its social media efforts to share safety tips and information about campus crime through Facebook and Twitter.

UTPD now tweets a daily crime log with information on recent police reports. The department also tweets and posts on Facebook a weekly report of case clearance activity.

“Encouraging more people to view our crime log and case clearance log is a way to share more important information with community members so they can build awareness and be even more proactive about their personal safety,” said Lane.

UTPD is accredited by both the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. UTPD comprises fifty-two commissioned police officers, twenty-seven civilian staff, and numerous term staff.

Follow UTPD on Twitter and on Facebook. For more information about the department, visit the UTPD website.

C O N T A C T :

Emily Simerly (865-974-3114, emilym@utk.edu)