(WBIR-Knoxville) As students return for the fall semester at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, UT Police are ramping up their efforts to keep everyone safe.
They've introduced a new anonymous tip service to allow people to connect directly with the police department. The university has contracted with Tip411. UT says it "adds a new dimension to the 'eyes and ears' on the street by providing another avenue for sharing information with police."
People can text an anonymous tip to UT Police, and an officer can 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 now send an anonymous tip by texting the letters "UTPD" followed by the tip information to Tip411 (847411). Anonymous tips can also be submitted via UTPD's website at http://utpolice.utk.edu/anonymous-tips. 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 is also ramping up their social media presence, to share safety tips and provide information about campus crime via Facebook and Twitter. They now tweet a daily crime log with information on recent police reports.
"Encouraging more people to view our crime log and case clearance log is a way to share more important information with community members so they can build awareness and be even more proactive about their personal safety," said Lane.
Follow UTPD on Twitter at https://twitter.com/utpolice and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UTKPD. For more information about the department, visit the UTPD website at http://utpolice.utk.edu.