UTPD Introduces New Custom Safety Features for Campus Community

Improvements to the UT Alert emergency messaging system have provided the campus community with new features to help enhance safety and improve two-way communication with the UT Police Department.

UTPD Chief Troy Lane said the new features are a great benefit for the campus community.

“Anytime we can make it easier to share information, we improve our department’s ability to provide needed assistance,” Lane said.

Lane said the new features also help build safety awareness and prevent crime.

“Many times, just receiving information about something that somebody thinks is suspicious can and will prevent a crime from occurring,” the chief said.

All faculty, staff, and students should download the UT app to receive the Guardian app, which will appear on the main screen. Community members who have already downloaded the app and are current on updates should be able to see the Guardian app on the first screen.

Users will be prompted to set up their Guardian account and create a safety profile. Faculty, staff, and students must use their UT email address to access the UT-specific interactive features.

Features in the Guardian app include:

Send UTPD a Tip: Users may send an anonymous tip to UTPD from the red “Emergency” button on the Guardian app’s first screen and then the green “Send a Tip” button on the next screen. A text message screen and keyboard will appear to allow the user to type a confidential message and send photos. UTPD will respond promptly to the message through the app. It is not necessary to identify yourself in order to share a tip or message.

Call for Immediate Help: Faculty, staff, and students can request immediate assistance by tapping the red “Emergency” button on the bottom of the Guardian app’s first screen.

The top “Call” button places an emergency call to UTPD, which will send help anywhere on campus. The bottom red “911” button will call the closest 911 center.

Users must enable location when creating their safety profile so the full emergency call features are available. Users are also strongly encouraged to add any information about special needs and medical conditions to their profile to make it available to police and medical responders in the event of a serious emergency.

New Feature Helps Vols Look Out for Each Other: Users can set a safety timer to create a connection when traveling between destinations or to unfamiliar settings. By choosing from a network of “guardians,” a close friend or nearby family member can be notified when the user does not check in within a set amount of time. UTPD may also be selected as a guardian for when you are on campus.

Add a Mobile Number for UT Alert Text Messages: To receive information that UTPD sends directly to faculty, staff and students by text message during a serious emergency, users should add a mobile number to their UT Alert account. Users will need a NetID and password.

UT Alert messages are sent only during serious emergencies when situations require people to act immediately or to be aware of an imminent threat to their safety. The system is also utilized to alert the campus community about severe weather, campus operating delays and closures or problems with facilities and grounds affecting a large number of people.

For questions or assistance with activating UT’s Guardian app features, call 865-974-3061.

Learn more about how the university will communicate with the campus community in an emergency.

CONTACT:

Katherine Saxon (865-974-8365, ksaxon@utk.edu)