Police Join UT Students to Take Strong Stand Against Crime

By: Liz Tedone
By: Liz Tedone

Knoxville (WVLT) - As the fall semester at UT comes to a close this month, neighbors in the Fort Sanders community say they can't forget about the rash of crime there.
This week, local police and UT leaders are creating a safety presence in that community.

WVLT Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone has more on safety days.

Since the beginning of the school, there have been several incidents including robbery and assault in the neighborhoods surrounding UT. This week, campus leaders and local police are raising awareness about crime and warning students not to let their guard down.

Fort Sanders community neighbors have experienced a rash of crime this fall. From robbery to carjacking, students have been victimized on the streets in front of their homes. That's why UT's Police Department along with KPD and campus leaders are beefing up a presence in the neighborhood with UT Safety Days.

"They are very glad we are here and very glad attention is focused on the crime. They are happy to hear about police being out here and extra patrol," said Amy Blakely from UT Media Relations.

The safety tents are staked at five locations around the Fort Sanders community. Volunteers are passing out important information including a new transportation map. It gives details about bus and trolley routes and where the well lighted pathways are.

"I'm really glad they did a transportation map because I've heard a lot of people who walk back from classes at night. I know I've been at the library late at night and it's such a great thing for me," student Cameron Ryan said.

The Safety Days are intended to remind students

"Those basic things that you know, that you sometimes forget," Blakely said.

Like don't walk alone. Lock your car. Lock your doors, even while you're home. Used well-lit walking paths and take the trolley and bus system more regularly.

UT police say the overall crime numbers for the Fort Sanders community are down this year, but robberies have been on the rise, and with the Holidays and winter break coming, students are warned to be watchful.

"I know there's crime, I haven't directly felt unsafe, but just knowing everything that's going on, and crime going on two doors down. That's pretty, like, scary," Ryan said.

The UT Safety Days events will continue Tuesday from the Sutherland Village Apartments where a number of ut students and faculty live. The safety tent will be open from 4:30 to 6:30.

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