UT Police hosting virtual town hall on department conduct policies

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — University of Tennessee Police will host a virtual town hall Tuesday to address questions about enforcement efforts and code of conduct policies.

“The University of Tennessee Police Department is committed to treating all people fairly while supporting an environment where diverse social, cultural, and academic values are allowed to develop,” Troy Lane, associate vice chancellor of Public Safety and Chief of UT Police, said. “We embrace the values of professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication, and excellence.”

The virtual town hall will be held from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday on Zoom.

2019 Statistics shared

The department also released some 2019 statistics:

1,977 Traffic stops:

  • 939 (47%) resulted in written citations.
  • 1,607 involved white drivers, and 47.3% were cited.
  • 265 involved black drivers, and 47.1% were cited.

8,602 Calls for service:

  • 99.9% involved no use of force.
  • Of the 8,602 calls, 462 (5%) led to arrests or criminal summons to appear in court.

In some cases, UTPD also has the discretion to refer cases to UT Student Conduct in lieu of legal actions.

Of the 462 Arrests:

  • 21 (4.5%) involved police use of force: 12 (2.5% of all arrests) involved the display (but not use) of a weapon, and nine (1.8% of all arrests) resulted in another application of force such as pressure points or wrist locks.
  • 349 (76%) of those arrested were unaffiliated with the university.
  • 422 (91.3%) of those arrested were white and 26 (5.6%) were black.

Four internal affairs complaints:

  • One sustained External/Internal Affairs complaint resulted in resignation in lieu of termination.
  • One sustained Internal Affairs complaint resulted in demotion.
  • One additional demotion and one additional termination related to policy violations.

Employment actions:

  • Currently, 77% of UTPD’s commissioned force is white, compared to 83% of the Knox County available workforce.
  • In 2019 there were 244 applicants for UT Police officer positions. Of those applicants, 194 (79.5%) were white, 25 (8.5%) were black, and 19 (6.4%) were of other races. UTPD hired 11 officers from that pool: five (45%) were white, four (36%) were black, and two (19%) were of other races.

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