We are excited to have returning students back on campus for another academic year. To our freshmen and transfer students—welcome to the Volunteer family. We have been training all summer so we can better serve you.
With the return of our students, we have noticed an unfortunate trend of which we want to make you aware. UTPD officers have encountered people who are homeless that have moved into the area around the university. Recently, we’ve made arrests for vehicle burglaries, thefts, trespassing and outstanding warrants on campus.
We know that generosity and a desire to help those in need are traits that mark our Volunteer community. I would like to ask that you refrain from giving money or other items to panhandlers you may encounter near UT. Instead I encourage you to point them to local organizations and charities that are dedicated to serving people experiencing homelessness in our city.
The City of Knoxville and Knox County have a coalition of these charities. To learn more about them, visit the Knoxville-Knox County Homeless Coalition’s website. For additional information, contact the City of Knoxville’s homeless coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also want to remind you of resources that are available for your personal safety. Download the UT safety mobile app LiveSafe to access campus services and resources including the UT Police Department, the Student Health Center, and Facilities Services, all with the touch of a button.
You can submit tips—whether about a suspicious person or a safety concern—using texts, pictures, videos, and audio files. Using the LiveSafe SafeWalk feature, you can also have a contact virtually accompany you while you’re walking or driving.
Best of luck as you as you tackle this fall semester,
Chief of Police
Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Safety