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UTPD Honors Employees of the Year

From left: Dannon Dallmann, Officer Sean Yap, Chief Troy Lane, Corporal Dan Villeneuve and Sergeant Lindsey Miller Gardner

From left: Dannon Dallmann, Officer Sean Yap, Chief Troy Lane, Corporal Dan Villeneuve and Sergeant Lindsey Miller Gardner

The UT Police Department recognized employees for outstanding performance and service to the university and the community today during its annual awards ceremony.

The employees honored were nominated by their peers. They are:

Corporal Dan Villeneuve—Officer of the Year. Villeneuve not only does his job well but is quick to volunteer for additional training and responsibilities. “Dan is also compassionate and kind when dealing with those in mental health crises,” one nominator wrote. His ability to relate to people has encouraged many to seek the help they need. As a field training officer—a senior officer who helps train new officers—he is rigorous in his training and challenges new officers. “He never misses an opportunity to make sure his trainees experience a multitude of calls to build on their knowledge base,” a nominator wrote.

Dannon Dallmann—Noncommissioned Employee of the Year. Dallmann went from communications officer to administrative specialist over records in November 2017. She has reviewed processes and found ways the department can be more resourceful. “Dannon brainstorms on her own other possible efficiencies, then conducts and presents research to support her various ideas,” one nominator wrote. She has discovered and corrected errors in department databases and created procedures such as a new expungement process that has reduced the time needed to expunge information in case records. She also has eliminated the need for unnecessary multiple printed copies of items such as traffic citations.

Officer Sean Yap—Community Service Award. Yap joined UTPD in January after serving many years in law enforcement in Florida. He has volunteered his time and abilities numerous times as a teacher in the Rape Aggression Defense course and as a speaker in many programs with UTPD’s Community Relations Unit. “Officer Yap’s dedication to teaching these programs and his dedication to improving the safety of students and staff members are a testament to his skills as a teacher and as a police officer,” his nominator wrote.

Sergeant Lindsey Miller Gardner—Supervisor of the Year. Gardner became supervisor over UTPD’s Community Relations Unit this year. In that role, she and her employees have revamped several community-oriented programs and created new ones, such as Social Media Safety, that provide online safety tips. Gardner serves as UTPD’s Rape Aggression Defense coordinator and lead instructor, and is lead instructor on other community outreach trainings. As a supervisor, she constantly helps members of her unit develop their talents and knowledge in a way that positions them for future promotion, one nominator wrote. “She has found classes for me to attend and even communicated with the training supervisor to make sure it happens,” said the nominator.

Julie Small—UTPD Partner of the Year. Small is a technical services unit supervisor for the Knoxville Police Department. She was instrumental in helping UTPD update its entire radio system in preparation for the move to the new Knox County–wide digital system. The system allows the department to communicate with law enforcement and emergency personnel partners around the county. “She’s given so much of her time to help us catch up, and she has asked for nothing in return,” her nominator wrote. “No one involved in this process over the last few long months believes we would be anywhere near where we are without her assistance.”


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UTPD Arrests Three Students in Connection with Clement Hall Vandalism

UT Police Department investigators on Wednesday arrested three UT students in connection with vandalism that burst sprinkler pipes in Clement Hall, causing the evacuation of the building and damages over the weekend.

Arrested were John Robert Reed, 19; Aaron Edward Griesmer, 18; and Thomas Harvey Bellet, 18. All were charged with felony vandalism. They were transported to the Knox County Detention Facility for booking Wednesday. Griesmer and Reed were released early Thursday on $5,000 bond. Bellet was still in custody on a $5,000 bond as of Thursday afternoon.

The students told UTPD investigators that they were punching ceiling tiles in the hallway outside their suite. The three are suitemates on the seventh floor of Clement Hall.


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UTPD Officers Recognized for Foiling Car Theft Ring, Drug Dealers

UTPD Officer Jeffrey Quirin, left, and Officer Lester Gonzalez have been named University Officers of the Year for the East Tennessee region.

UTPD Officer Jeffrey Quirin, left, and Officer Lester Gonzalez have been named University Officers of the Year for the East Tennessee region.

Two UTPD officers have been named University Officers of the Year for the East Tennessee region for their work in breaking up a car theft ring that targeted UT and for removing drugs and weapons from campus streets.

The Tennessee Highway Safety Office recognized Officers Lester Gonzalez and Jeffrey Quirin with the awards during a ceremony Monday at Bridgewater Place in West Knoxville.

Gonzalez was lauded for foiling a group of car thieves that had stolen 10 vehicles from campus over several months. While on patrol in the early morning hours of September 23, Gonzalez noticed four males acting suspiciously on the top level of a UT parking garage. He identified and interviewed them and discovered three were juveniles and one was an adult. The three juveniles were placed under arrest for curfew violation, and the adult male was issued a criminal trespass warning and told not to return to campus.

UTPD investigators were able to connect the vehicle thefts and burglaries to a ring of individuals who were involved in stealing cars on campus and in the Knoxville area. Arrest warrants were subsequently issued for the individuals involved.

UTPD investigators recovered all the stolen vehicles.

“If it were not for Officer Gonzalez’s due diligence in performance of his duties, the individuals involved may have not been identified and/or caught,” wrote UTPD Sergeant Ashley Stonerock in her nomination letter.

Quirin was recognized for his ability to look beyond a routine traffic violation and take an investigation one step further to uncover large quantities of narcotics and guns.

“It is not uncommon for Officer Quirin to turn a traffic stop for a simple infraction or a call for suspected drug activity into a felony arrest,” wrote Sergeant Bobby Knight in his nomination letter.

Quirin, who is a member of UTPD’s Strategic Initiatives Unit, is partnered with Bruno, the department’s only drug and apprehension dog. The two work together to sniff out weapons and narcotics.

Quirin leads the department in felony drug arrests and has assisted or been involved in a multitude of major cases. He also is routinely involved with UTPD’s Community Relations Unit, where he assists with outreach programs and speaks at events.

Sophomore Jordan Jones Wins LiveSafe App Thanksgiving Contest

Jordan Jones' Friendsgiving meal.

Jordan Jones’ Friendsgiving meal.

We recently asked students to submit their best or funniest stories of Thanksgiving party fouls for a chance to win a $50 VolShop gift card. We received entries through the LiveSafe app that ranged from the hilarious to the meaningful.

This winning entry was submitted by sophomore Jordan Jones:

“Plans don’t always work out, and sometimes the day of Thanksgiving is really hectic. That’s why ‘Friendsgiving’ is where it’s at. But we don’t just do regular food, we do it college style: McDonald’s burgers, Taco Bell, Chick Fil A nuggets and all the sweet tea you could ask for!”

UT Police Department’s K9 Bruno to get Donation of Body Armor

UTPD K-9 BrunoUniversity of Tennessee Police Department’s K9 Bruno will receive a bullet and stab protective vest, thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. K9 Bruno’s vest is sponsored by Mike and Peggy Thielen of Waterford, MI, and will be embroidered with the sentiment “In honor of Eddie Thielen 1996-2012”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.

Bruno, UTPD’s apprehension and drug detection dog, is partnered with Officer Jeffrey Quirin.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA, whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 3,100 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $5.7 million dollars.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA, 02718.

Celebrate Safely and Enter to Win a $50 VolShop Gift Card

Thanksgiving photoThanksgiving is almost here! Whether you’re traveling to see family or staying in town to hang out with friends, it’s important to know how to prevent and respond to an emergency. Use these tips to have a safe holiday:

  • Have a communication plan for when everyone scatters in anger because your uncle went out of his way to insult everybody in the room.
  • Let your friend who insists on describing the historic inaccuracy of all of your family traditions have their moment.
  • Know how to put out a fire when your dad explodes the deep fryer on the deck for the seventh consecutive year.
  • Use the SafeWalk feature of the LiveSafe campus safety app to make sure you and your friends arrive safely at Waffle House when you realize your mom invited her favorite of your exes to dinner. Don’t have the app yet? Download LiveSafe right now—it’s easy.
  • Lastly, Thanksgiving leftovers are awesome, so save some for later. You really don’t need a third plate that will put you in a food coma.

Use the LiveSafe app to report a Thanksgiving party foul. Click “Report Incident” and use the contest button to share a brief story. The best or funniest story will be selected to win a $50 VolShop gift card. 

For more tips on staying safe this holiday season and every day, visit the UT Emergency Preparedness website.

In Memoriam: Vince Kanipe

Vince KanipeVince Kanipe, a retired UT Police Department officer who was assigned as a liaison to the Volunteer football team, passed away on November 13. He was 74.

Kanipe joined the university in September 1981 and served in UTPD’s patrol division. As part of his assignment, he traveled with the football team under coach Phil Fulmer. He retired from UTPD in January 2010 after 28 years of service.

He was a 1963 graduate of East Knoxville High School, and a 1966 graduate of Fulton Technical Vocational School in Mechanical Drafting and Design.

Kanipe’s family will receive friends from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 17, at Rose Mortuary Broadway Chapel. A funeral service will follow at 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery.

UTPD Chief Troy Lane Addresses Security on Campus

Members of our campus community were targeted in threats painted on the Rock.

I am concerned about any hateful speech directed toward individuals or particular groups. Many of you have reached out to us about our response over the weekend. We are committed to being more thoughtful in addressing these incidents moving forward.

We have increased our physical presence in the area around the Rock. We have reviewed security footage from Saturday night and are in contact with local, state, and federal partners to do everything we can within the law to follow up on these matters.

The safety and security of our students, faculty, and staff is my top priority. We encourage the campus community to continue to report these incidents.

Collection Box for Unwanted Medications Now Available at UTPD

pharmaceutical take-back box Looking for a safe way to discard unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs? The University of Tennessee Police Department can help.

UTPD has installed a pharmaceutical take-back box in its lobby at 1101 Cumberland Avenue. The secure drop box is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The bin gives the campus community another option to safely dispose of pharmaceuticals,” said Emily Simerly, UTPD deputy chief of administration.

Collection of the medications means they won’t end up in the landfill or be flushed down the drain, preventing them from getting into streams, rivers, and other waterways where they can affect the environment, she said. It also prevents them from falling into the wrong hands.

Medications that can be dropped off at UTPD include non-narcotics, narcotics, over-the-counter medicines, herbals, and veterinary medications.

UTPD will not accept needles, biohazardous materials or illegal drugs.

Once the drop box is full, UTPD will package and send the contents to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to be destroyed.


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UT Implements New Campus Safety App, LiveSafe

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is implementing a new mobile phone safety app, LiveSafe, for the campus community.

From reports of broken lights, safety hazards, or suspicious activities to questions about sexual harassment or a troubled peer, the app will allow students, faculty, and staff to communicate a variety of concerns to the university by submitting texts, pictures, videos, and audio files.

The app provides convenient access to campus services and resources including the UT Police Department, the Office of Title IX, the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, and Facilities Services, along with campus bus routes and the location of automated external defibrillators.

“Students have asked for a mobile solution to simplify communication with the university, and this is what the app provides,” said Troy Lane, associate vice chancellor for public safety and chief of police.

LiveSafe was founded six years ago by Kristina Anderson, a critically injured survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, as a way of adding “do something” to the adage “see something, say something.”

UT LiveSafe users can reach 911 or UT Police with the touch of a button. The emergency functions of the app can also be used off campus and will route calls to local law enforcement wherever users are—even if they are traveling overseas.

The app’s SafeWalk feature allows users to share a walking or driving route and estimated arrival time with chosen contacts. Contacts are notified if the user fails to arrive on time and can trace the route on a map.

A geolocation feature lets the university target specific locations with messaging—for example, a game-day reminder of prohibited items in Neyland Stadium.

A version of the app for campus visitors provides them with a way to report incidents and access information on special events such as concerts and commencement.

The university’s former safety app, Rave Guardian, will be phased out for individual users over the coming weeks. UT will continue to use Rave for its UT Alert emergency messaging notifications to the campus community.

For more information, see the UT Police Department’s public safety website.


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