UTPD launches new safety initiatives ahead of first day of class

UTPD launches new safety initiatives ahead of first day of classes

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With the first day of classes approaching, the University of Tennessee Police Department has launched new initiatives to enhance safety by keeping the campus and surrounding community 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, is an Internet-based tool that allows the public to text message an anonymous tip to police and the police to respond back, 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 send an anonymous tip by texting the letters "UTPD" and 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.

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