UT Police Chief Discusses Emergency Plans

Knoxville (WVLT) -- University of Tennessee students have also shown their emotions in reaching out to their fellow collegians.

Volunteer TV's Alan Williams was on campus this afternoon during a 2 pm moment of silence. While students reverently remembered their peers just three hours away, thoughts were also on their own security.

"They're around I know that," says Tyishna Williams, a Junior in Nursing. "I get plenty of tickets, I feel pretty secure."

But others students, such as Junior Tiffani Cottrell, look at yesterday's situation at Virginia Tech and wonder how it could have happen.

You know it's kind of the question," she says. "You know two and a half hours between the first shooting and the second shooting, why didn't they cancel classes?

Discrepancies in that, and other issues had many students talking today and asking questions about their own security UT.

"I think we are adequate enough," said August Washington, UT's Chief of Police. "We have a system, a communication system."

Chief Washington told WVLT, the first line of security, if there ever is an issue, is communication through emails, telephone, loud speakers, cars, and phone trees.

"The University of Tennessee is committed to having a fully comprehensive and professionally trained law enforcement agency."

Chief Washington admits there are security plans for every building including a several disaster plans for crisis such as potential pandemic outbreaks and physical threats. For now there are obvious changes, with stepped up patrols, and a realization of a copy cat.

"I think this issue, such as the Columbine issue, is going to change the way we think about law enforcement on college campuses. I think we have to look at this incident in great detail not to second guess but to learn from.

At UT and around the country it comes down to a burning desire for peace and normalcy.

A lot of discussion on these issues and more will be coming next week when police chiefs from 40 Southeastern universities will meet here in Knoxville.


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