Crime Prevention Tips

We at the Department of Public Safety are foremost concerned about your personal safety while at the University of Tennessee at Martin, but you are ultimately responsible for your own safety. We ask that you develop and maintain a "security mindset” and take proactive steps to reduce your potential of being a crime victim.  Listed below are tips to help you formulate an action plan and working together we can continue to enjoy a safe and secure campus!


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Contacting the Police


Campus Police-881-7777

Martin City Police-587-5355

Weakley County Sheriff's Office-364-5454


Walking Around Campus

  • Familiarize yourself with the layout of the campus.
  • Carry your cell-phone and have it readily available.
  • Plan the safest route to where you are going-choose well lighted busy pathways.
  • Avoid shortcuts between buildings or off busy pathways.
  • If possible, travel in groups.
  • Know where the emergency call boxes are located and how to use them.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings and recognize potential threats as soon as possible.
  • Tell a friend where you are going and how long it should take you to get there-call them when you arrive-reverse the process when you return.
  • If a motorist stops and asks directions, keep your distance from the car.
  • Trust your instincts-if something makes you feel nervous-remove yourself from the area immediately.

On Campus Residential Facilities

  • Always lock your door! Always lock your door! Always lock your door!
  • Do not open your door unless you know who is wanting in-utilize your peep-hole.
  • Do not prop any exterior or end-hallway doors open.
  • Report any stolen/lost residential facility keys to the Housing staff immediately.
  • Report any damage or malfunctioning locks.
  • Secure your valuables in your lock drawer and don't leave them out in the open.
  • Record the serial number and description of your personal equipment and secure the inventory in case your property is stolen.
  • Mark your equipment/valuables with a personal id symbol (not your date of birth or social security number).
  • Report any suspicious activity/persons immediately-you know best who or what is out of place.
  • Remind your neighbors to lock it up and work with the Housing Staff in proactive efforts toward safety and security.

Motor Vehicle Safety



If possible, park in well lighted areas and avoid parking next to vans or large trucks.


Keep all valuables out of sight-take them with you or put them in your trunk.


When you approach your car, walk down the center aisle and scan around and in your vehicle as you approach.


Have the entrance key readily available as you approach-unlock your door only when you are immediately prepared to enter and then lock your door once you get in.


If your vehicle breaks down-remain inside and call for help-if someone offers to help that you do not know, remain inside your vehicle and ask them to call for help.


If you think you are being followed while driving-DO NOT DRIVE HOME! Make four left or right turns and if you are still being followed-drive to a police station, fire station, or somewhere there are a lot of people present.


Never pick up hitchhikers.


If someone appears broken down or needs help-make the call for them-use caution helping them yourself.


If a person confronts you and wants your vehicle or valuables-GIVE UP THE PROPERTY -the decision to go mobile with them is yours and yours alone but your chances of survival are greatly diminished in these situations.


If You Are Being or About to Be Attacked

The decision to resist is yours and yours alone!  If you decide to resist-commit to it 100% and only long enough to provide the opportunity to escape.


If you decide to run-run with a purpose-toward help and pace yourself to conserve enough energy to resist if you are caught, if you so choose.


If a weapon is involved-give up the property and do as you are told-compliance may give you an opportunity to resist and/or escape later if you so choose.


Take a self defense class and make resistance a viable option if you so choose.


Pay attention to the description of the suspect and notify the police as soon as possible.


After the event, do not question yourself or feel guilty-if you survived-you did the right thing.


Standard Description of a Person and/or Vehicle

For vehicle description use the CYMBAL method:

Color (top to bottom)

Year (in numbers)




License Plate (state and numbers/letter and color)

Description of a person:

Start (Physical Description):Finish (Clothing):
Name (did he mention one)Shirt
(color, markings)
Race (color/tint)Coat
Age (in numbers)Pants
Height (in numbers)Socks
Weight (in numbers)Shoes
Face (eyes, facial hair, glasses) 
(Marks, Scars, Tattoos, Limps, Speech, etc)

Cyber Security

Never give your password out.


Change your password frequently.


Protect access to your e-mail.


Do not put personal information or photos on your web page and do not give indicators as to where you live on social networking sites.


Never leave your computer/laptop unattended where unauthorized users can gain access.


Engrave a personal ID symbol (not SSN or date of birth) on your computer and separately record the model and serial number.


Shop online only with companies you know and use a secure browser that will encrypt your purchase information.


Update your virus software regularly.


Do not down load files or click on hyperlinks from people you don't know.


Make sure your personal information is deleted from your computer before selling/disposing of it.


Obscene or Annoying Phone Calls

Hang up immediately and document the number if you have caller-ID.


If the calls continue, keep a log of the date/time received and anything that was said.


If the calls continue, notify the police.


Automatic Teller Machines (ATM's)

Try to utilize ATM's during daylight hours.


Be aware of people loitering in the area or sitting in their cars.


Have your card and transaction information readily available-limit your time at the ATM to as short as possible.


Do not give your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to anyone, especially over the phone. No reputable company will ask for it.


Screen the machine when entering numbers so others cannot see.


Insure you retrieve and shred your receipts


Identity Theft

Destroy (not just throw away) any records or statements with any identifying information or numbers on them.


Secure your mail and destroy any credit card/pre-approved loan applications.


Protect your social security number-don't carry your card on you, have it removed from your driver's license, don't put it on your checks, secure any records that may contain it.


Safeguard your computer-use complicated passwords and frequently update antivirus/antispy software.


Know who you are dealing with-only provide personal information to companies you contacted or know for sure are reputable.


Use the national Do Not Call Registry (1-888-382-1222 or to take yourself off marketers customer lists.


Use the three major credit card bureaus opt out service (1-888-5-OPT OUT or to reduce credit card solicitations.


Monitor your credit report from the three main credit card bureaus: Equifax (1-800-685-1111), Experian (1-883-397-3742), and TransUnion (1-800-680-4213) or at  Get a free copy once a year and check for unauthorized transactions.


Review your bank statements and credit card statements and look for unauthorized usage and if you don't receive your statements at the normal time check with the institution and see if it was mailed.


Don't use personal information (date of birth, SSN, graduation date, phone number etc) as a password that will make it easy for someone to compromise it.


If Your Identity is Stolen

Contact the three major credit bureaus at the numbers listed above.


Contact the involved company directly and ask for the fraud department.


Contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline (1-800-269-0271) if your SSN has been compromised.


File a report with the police department where the identity theft took place and keep a copy of the report.


Keep records of everything involved in your efforts to clear the situation up, including copies of any written correspondence or records of any telephone calls.


Dating Safety

Check on the character of a first or blind date with friends or go with friends on the first date.


Carry money for public transportation or pre-arrange with a friend to pick you up in case you get stranded or want to leave-carry your cell phone.


Protect your drink at all times.


If you go with friends-leave with them-take care of each other.


Be assertive-insure there are no mixed messages about what you want or don't want to occur-No means NO!


If you at anytime feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation. YOU CONTROL THE SITUATION!


Sexual Assault or Rape Victim

Seek help as soon as it is safe to do so. Don't blame yourself or feel guilty-if you survived you did the right thing!


Do not shower, change clothes, use any hygiene products, or clean the scene-contact the police immediately and preserve this vital evidence.


If you do not want to immediately contact the police-seek counseling or support services from the Housing Staff, Student Health, Hospital, Rape Crisis Line, or a trusted friend.


If you think some type of Date Rape Drug might have been involved-contact the police immediately. Try not to urinate and secure the glass/container you drank from.


If someone comes to you as a victim for help-do not be judgmental or express opinions about what they did/did not do or what you would/would not have done. Be supportive and seek assistance for them.


Alcohol/Party Safety

Not drinking is a viable option, especially if you are underage.


Drink in moderation-remain in control of yourself.


Control your drink and know where it came from.


If you drink-DON'T DRIVE-use a designated driver.


Go with friends and leave with those friends-look out for each other.


Know your environment-gain information about the location beforehand if possible-if things begin to get out of control-leave immediately.


Binge Drinking:

The consumption of 5 or more drinks in a row by men-or 4 or more drinks in a row by women-at least once in the past 2 weeks. Heavy binge drinking includes three or more such episodes in 2 weeks.


Why do people binge drink?

Peer Pressure


To reduce stress or to feel good

Wanting to feel older


Risks of Binge Drinking:

Alcohol Poisoning-symptoms:  affects breathing and the "gag” reflex, extreme confusion, inability to be awakened, vomiting, seizures, low body temperature, blush or pale skin, impaired judgment.


Health related risks-contracting an STD, physical injury, developing dependency


Personal related risks-emotional and mental anguish, guilt, embarrassment, loss of friendships or relationships, poor grades (may affect scholarships), disciplinary action from the university up to and including dismissal, negative impact on future education or employment opportunities.


Commission of criminal offenses-Underage drinking, driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence, fighting, sexual assault, vandalism, disorderly conduct, theft.


Sobering up-drinking coffee, exercise, home remedies do not work-The only safe method is time-the body processes alcohol at a rate of ½ oz per hour.  That's two hours to get rid of 1 beer or 1 normal drink.


Where to seek help for alcohol related problems-The campus counseling center, student health, student affairs, public safety, the housing staff, or a trusted friend can assist/refer you to getting help if needed.




Campus Response to Armed Intruders

An armed intruder is defined as one or more subjects who participate in, or pose a threat to participate in, a random or systematic shooting spree, demonstrating their intent to continuously harm others. The overriding objective appears to be that of inflicting serious bodily injury/death rather than other criminal conduct. The dynamics of this situation demand an immediate law enforcement response with the primary focus being on neutralizing the threat to stop the on-going harm to innocent victims.


As soon as practical, campus authorities will "sound the alarm" through a multifaceted notification system which includes whole or in-part:


Emergency text messaging

Campus wide e-mail

Campus auto-dialer system

Direct contact to building managers

Emergency siren (for weather emergencies)

Campus web-sites

Campus television system

and most important of all-"word of mouth."


It is important to understand that these messages will be limited in content mainly containing: The type of emergency, location, and simple responsive actions.Prior planning as to where to gain additional information and what actions to take is imperative to a successful response.


LOCKDOWN: is defined as an emergency course of action ordered by a person or persons in command, to contain a problem or incident within the area of origin by controlling the movement of people. Public Safety professionals on campus may utilize lockdown action in one building or facility where a problem(s) is occurring. In most cases, a campus-wide lockdown is not practical or feasible.



SHELTER IN PLACE: is defined as securing oneself in or around their present location for the purpose of temporary protective shelter when there is an imminent threat and it is safer for one to remain where they are than it is to evacuate. This is a temporary measure until conditions improve or until persons in authority can direct a safe evacuation.  This is not the same as taking shelter in case of severe weather-for those cases-proceed to designated safe areas.


When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious bodily injury or the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to person(s) within a building, we recommend the following procedures be implemented.


1. Faculty/Staff/Students should immediately "sound the alarm" to anyone who may not have knowledge of the emergency (if safe to do so) and lock themselves in a classroom, dorm room, office, or any area that can be secured.THIS IS REFERRED TO AS SHELTER IN PLACE. If possible cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway. Do not barricade the doorway unless immediately necessary to prevent the intruder from entering, because others may need to get in for sanctuary and/or there may be a need for immediate escape/evacuation.


2. If communication is available-call 911 or 7777 and let them know who and where you are, how many people are with you, or any injuries or immediate medical needs that may be present.  Take any directions in relations to evacuation, staying put, or treatment of medical emergencies given by the communications operator.  If you have access to computers and/or other communication devices, monitor them for developing information, if they do not increase your chances of being detected by the intruder.


3. Do not sound the fire alarm.  A fire alarm would signal the occupants to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempted to exit.


4. Lock the windows and close the blinds or curtains.  Lie flat, face down, on floor, cover your head, get under tables/desks if possible.


5. Stay away from the windows and doors if possible. Also try to stay away from the wall that is most exposed to the intruder.


6. Turn off lights and audio equipment that may lead to detection.


7. Try to remain as calm as possible.


8. Keep everyone together and insure you know and can account for everyone present if you have to evacuate quickly. Know and discuss escape routes and be prepared to evacuate immediately if directed to do so.


9. Keep area secure until police or other responsible authorities arrive and give you directions.


10. If you are not in a secure area, try to get to one as soon as possible.


11. If for some reason you are caught in an open area such as a hallway or lounge, you must decide what you are going to do. This is a very crucial time and it can possibly mean life or death.


You can try to hide, but make sure it is a well-hidden space (if possible behind something that will stop bullets) or you may be found as the intruder moves through the building looking for victims.


If you think you can safely make it out of the building by running, then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects such as, desks cabinets, fixtures, etc… between you and the hostile person(s). Once outside, do not run in a straight line. Use trees, vehicles and other objects to block you from the view of intruders. If necessary, hide behind one of these objects that is capable of stopping bullets, lie down and stay motionless. When away from the immediate area of danger, summon help anyway you can and warn others.


If the person(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.


  • Your last option if you are caught in an open area in a building is to fight back.This is dangerous and you are the only one who can make this decision, but depending on the situation, this could be your last option.
  • If you are caught by the intruder and are not going to fight back, obey all commands and don't look the intruder in the eyes.
  • Once the police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve your being handcuffed, or keeping your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons and once circumstances are evaluated by the police, they will give you further directions to follow.


12. Once you have secured your area:

  • Deal with panic/hysteria/stress reactions
  • Provide psychological first aid.
  • Provide for needs of students with disabilities

13.If you and your students are taken hostage

  • Follow the instructions of the captor.
  • Cooperate, be friendly if possible, don't argue with or antagonize the captor or other hostages.
  • Inform the captor of medical or other needs.
  • Prepare yourself to wait; elapsed time is in your favor.
  • Don't try to escape. Don't try to resolve the situation by force unless you make the decision it is the last resort.
  • Be observant and try to remember everything you see or hear.
  • If rescue takes place, do everything the rescuers command immediately.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected; think of possible courses of actions for various contingencies.

14. After the "all clear" signal is given by responsible authorities:


  • Check yourself and your students for injuries.
  • Account for all students-Stay put and await instructions.
  • As accurate information becomes available, explain to students what has happened and what will happen next…Allow them to ask questions, express feelings, etc.
  • Monitor students who are directly involved, or direct witnesses, and ID them for police investigators.
  • Preserve any physical evidence (don't touch if possible) and direct police to it.
  • Stay with the students until they are released by responsible authorities.  Make note of your observations and debrief authorities.  Receive recovery/follow-up instructions.
  • Take advantage of personal support services-Take care of yourself.
  • Conduct an after action review within 72 hours.


Sexual Harassment

What is sexual harassment? Who can be sexually harassed? What can you do if you are sexually harassed? Both males and females can be victims of sexual harassment, both males and females can be perpetrators of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can occur between supervisor and employee; coworker and coworker; campus visitor and university employee; professor and student, and students.


If you are sexually harassed, here are a few points to remember:


1. Know Your Rights: Sexual harassment is illegal and the University unequivocally opposes the sexual harassment of its employees and students.


2. Speak-up at the Time: Say "NO" clearly, and without smiling. This is not the time to be polite or vague. By being quiet, you enable the harassment to continue. Speaking up can protect others from being victimized and may decrease your feelings of helplessness.


3. Don't Blame Yourself: Sexual harassment is unwanted action that the harasser decides to take. It is not your fault.


4. Don't Delay: If you delay action, the harassment is likely to continue. An employee or student may first pursue informal channels for resolving the situation. For instance, employees may initially want to discuss the situation with a Department Head, Dean or Personnel Officer. Students may first want to contact the appropriate Dean or Department Head, or the Dean of Students. Since the University is liable for the harassing conduct of their employees, supervisors must take immediate and appropriate corrective action. Both employees and students have the option of contacting the Office of Diversity Resources. An official complaint is to be filed within 300 calendar days of the alleged act(s). In all situations, the employee and student should be prepared to report the exact behavior and, if possible, the date(s) on which it occurred.


If you are an observer of what you perceive to be sexual harassment, you can also take steps to stop this form of discrimination. You can:


1. Speak up: Inform the harasser that his/her actions may be perceived as sexual harassment.


2. Support the Victim: Provide comfort and assurances to the victim.


3. Report the Incident: Talk to appropriate persons within the department, or to the Office of Diversity Resources personnel. It is important for victims and observers to seek advice in determining if what they are experiencing is sexual harassment. Seeking advice can also provide information on how to keep what are initial overtures from developing into harassment. Oftentimes, persons may feel that they can handle the situation when in fact they cannot. It is helpful to the University to know if such activities are occurring. Reporting the incident, whether one decides to file an official complaint or not, benefits the victim, the University, and future students or employees.


Sexual harassment is a particularly sensitive issue which can affect any member of the University community. Prompt action will be taken on every complaint. Each reported incident will be handled on a case by case basis to determine whether the alleged violation occurred and if appropriate disciplinary action is warranted. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated and will be grounds for disciplinary action. The University prohibits any retaliatory action against an employee for opposing an action which he or she believes to be sexual harassment, including the filing of an internal complaint or grievance or a charge with a state or federal civil rights enforcement agency. Student offenders may be disciplined under the University Policies and Procedures in Person to Person--UTM Student Handbook. Confidentiality of all parties involved will be respected to the extent allowed by law.


The University of Tennessee at Martin is committed to providing an environment free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment by any member of the University community is a violation of both the law and University policy and will not be tolerated.


Both males and females can be victims of sexual harassment, and both males and females can be perpetrators of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is an issue which may affect any member of the University community and will be dealt with promptly by the University administration.


Where to Go For Help If You Are a Victim of Sexual Harassment

Complaint procedures are designed to ensure protection of the civil rights of all parties. For help, contact these areas:


Office of Diversity Resources
223 Administration Building
(731) 881-7704


Personnel Office

227 Administration Building

(731) 881-7845


Dean of Students
223 Administration Building

(731) 881-7705


To make a formal complaint, students should report the incidence of sexual harassment to the Department of Public Safety at 881-7777 and to the Office of Student Affairs at 881-7700.


To make a formal complaint, employees should report the incidence of sexual harassment to the Office of Personnel Services at 881-7845 and to the Office of Diversity Resources at 881-7704.


Definitions of Sexual Harassment

For Employees, harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines define sexual harassment as follows:


Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:


1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;


2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual;


3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.


For Students, harassment on the basis of sex is a violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities.


Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:


1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's status in a course, program, or activity;


2. Submission to such conduct is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting the individual, including, but not limited to, grades or academic progress; or


3. When the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual's academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment.

Parking Information

All motor vehicles operated (utilized) by faculty, staff and students in connection with their employment or attendance at UT Martin must be registered at the UT Martin Department of Public Safety in Crisp Hall.

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Personal Property Inventory

The UT Martin Dept. of Public Safety would like to remind everyone maintaining an inventory of their personal property can help the appropriate authorities recover the property if it is lost or stolen.

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