Knoxville (WVLT) - With the recent shooting in the Fort Sanders neighborhood downtown, you may think crime is on the rise.
It's actually down 10 percent according to Knoxville Police statistics, but it's still out there and there are some things you and your children can do to keep from becoming a statistic.
Lieutenant Shawna Williams patrols Fort Sanders every night. After 16 years on the force she knows crime is not a stranger to these neighborhoods near the railroad tracks.
"Provides multiple escape routes for criminals to hit tracks or under the interstate to park," Williams said.
Criminals prey on college students who are very unaware. We shined a flashlight in about 10 cars. Out of those 10, only 2 did not have valuables in plain site. We saw CD's, books, clothes, satellite radio, and more. Some in unlocked vehicles, and no one ever asked us what we were doing looking into random cars. We also saw several students walking alone.
"It is safe if you're smart. We encourage people to be smart and don't be alone," Williams said.
There's another thing you can do to protect yourself in Fort Sanders. Pay attention to the people around you. If you're ever confronted by a criminal or see a crime happening, know the suspect's face.
"It's integral if you have to stop someone have to have the right description or you're wasting your time," Williams said.
Lt. Williams will continue to patrol these streets along with UT Police. If you do your part, your chances of getting robbed, shot, or worse decrease considerably.
You can practice getting good descriptions. When someone walks by you, close your eyes and recite their description. It just might get a criminal off the street one day.