National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (2022)

Whether calling 9-1-1 on your campus phone, or dialing 423-425-4357, our Security Communications Officers are here for the community 24/7 all year, and we wish to highlight them with special recognition. Every year during the second week of April, the telecommunications personnel in the public safety community, are honored. This week-long event, initially set up in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in California, is a time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public. It is a week that should be set aside so everyone can be made aware of their hard work and dedication.

“On behalf of the Finance and Administration Division, I want to thank our Security Communication Officer team members during this National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Ensuring the health and safety of our campus is one of our Division’s top priorities. The work you do each day to support it is much appreciate and does not go unnoticed. I thank you not only this week, but throughout the year, for all the great work that you each continue to do. ”

Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance, Tyler Forrest


“Words cannot begin to express the gratitude I have for our Telecommunicators and their professionalism, their seemingly tireless efforts, and their commitment to keeping our Officers and the University community safe.  It takes an exceptional and talented person to be and remain the calm and collected voice, whether with someone needing assistance or otherwise in the middle of a dire emergency.  During this National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, I want to thank each of them for using their remarkable talents and skills to make our University a safer place in the midst of the many crises they face daily.  They are and always will be our first line of defense in protecting and helping our community.”

– Chief of Police Department, Robert Ratchford

“To each and every one of our communications officers, Thank You.
You have been here 24/7/365. The last two years has challenged you with the pandemic, the weather, staffing shortages, and all the other emergencies that you handled. Through it all, you continue to be the irreplaceable human voice on the line when people need help and your commitment to the safety of our UTC community is truly appreciated.”

Assistant Vice Chancellor of Emergency Services, Robie Robinson

National Police Week (2021)

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which it falls as National Police Week. This weeklong event pays special recognition to law enforcement officers, specifically, those who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. It is also a week we can set aside to recognize the hard work and dedication of UTC Officers, who are here for our community 24/7 all year.

This year, UTC’s Police Department is also welcoming into our ranks four new dedicated officers who will be working to provide a safe environment for our campus. Officer Craigmiles, Officer Tabor, Officer Missel, and Officer Yates were all sworn in on May 04, 2021 in the Reading Room of the Guerry Center.

Chief Robert K. Ratchford, Captain John Boe, Sergeant-Community Engagement and Special Operations Edwin McPherson, Sergeant Lacy Bobo, Sergeant Craig Haney, and Sergeant Rebecca Tolbert

Sergeant John West, Corporal Ross Brenza, Officer Randy “Scott” Bishop, Officer Tyler McCune, Officer Wendell Hughes, and Officer Adrianne Snyder

Officer Jason Tillison, Officer Hayden Russell, Officer Dominic Craigmiles, Officer Sarah Tabor, Officer Ginger Yates, and Officer Lawrence B. Missel


R.A.D. Classes in 2021

Delay for Spring, Hopeful for Fall Semester

PLEASE NOTE: To protect the health and safety of our communities, UTC PD have canceled in-person R.A.D. classes for the remainder of 2020-2021 Academic year. Per UTC guidelines; community members are discouraged from holding events, meetings, or physical activities involving greater than 10 people if the gathering is non-essential to ongoing operations. We have received many requests for an in-person session this semester, however we remain optimistic for holding defense classes starting back in Fall 2021 and will send out course times to campus when confirmed.

Information on the R.A.D. Program at UTC:

The Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) Program is a woman’s self-defense and awareness training program developed by Larry Nadeau and his staff in Virginia. It is an internationally recognized, proactive, physical defensive tactics-training program provided to females around the nation. After much research and extended efforts, the UTC Police Department adopted and is now routinely providing this program as a service to the female population of the UTC community.

The R.A.D. System’s instructional objective is to develop and enhance the options of self-defense, so they become viable considerations to the woman who might be attacked. R.A.D. is a twelve-hour course, which is broken up into three, four-hour sessions offered during the evenings, or two, six-hour sessions offered on weekends.

The students and aggressor are dressed in special protective gear during the simulation part of the training. This dynamic simulation empowers the women participants by teaching them the essentials of fighting back and fighting back effectively.

R.A.D. is offered all over the United States and Canada. All graduating R.A.D. students can return and practice their self-defense skills at any location where R.A.D. is offered.

If you have any questions concerning future R.A.D. courses or would like to schedule a virtual safety Q&A, please contact Corporal Rebecca Tolbert at or call our Communications Officers 423-425-4357.

New Semester, Old Crimes of Opportunity

Currently there are many day-to-day culture changes on our minds and in our routine due to the spread of COVID-19. However, have you consciously thought about keeping you and your property safe lately? There can be a lot of to remember to maintain your personal safety, in addition to our due diligence of wearing masks and social distancing during a pandemic.

Lock it, Hide it, and Hold It.

Several burglaries and thefts from cars have been reported at the beginning of this year not just in Chattanooga, but across the country. All it takes is a few minutes for a single criminal to check an entire parking lot of cars if they are unlocked. To help prevent crimes, we should all remind ourselves and roommates to lock our doors, hide our valuables, and hold our property by keeping it with us. No matter how inconvenient it may be or how long you may be gone, there will be someone who will take advantage of an opportunity. If you see somebody wandering around a parking lot checking multiple cars at a time, please report the suspicious individual or activity to our Police Department, 423-425-4357, or 9-1-1.

Know your Surroundings and How to Find Help

When new to a city campus there are difficulties knowing where things may be that just take experience to learn, but how can you learn about the lesser known safety resources on campus? Many emergency situations can depend upon knowing where help can be found, do the following to help remind yourself: take 2-3 minutes to look where Emergency blue light phones are located on your daily commute on campus, add our Police Department number (423-425-4357) as a contact to your phone, plan to walk in groups across campus at night, and check on friends that may travel across campus alone.

Our new online UTC map has a Safety category that locates what Emergency Services has to offer; AEDs, areas of refuge, emergency phones, just to name a few. In addition, the Campus Safety Tour, under the Tour Section, shows all aspects of safety resources at UTC.

June 24th Traffic Stop Summary and Video

UTC Police Department Traffic Stop Summary of June 24, 2020

Skip to videos ↓

  • 8:44 p.m. June 24, 2020. Probationary Officer Wendell Hughes and Sgt. Garrett Foster were parked in Lot #61 at the State Building on McCallie Avenue. Sgt. Foster, Officer Hughes’ field training officer, was on duty to observe the probationary officer’s training.
  • Corporal Jonah Goddard was parked beside their vehicle in his patrol unit.
  • The communications staff dispatched Cpl. Goddard to McKenzie Arena, located at 720 East 4th Street, to close the load-in ramp doors. Cpl. Goddard left the parking lot and traveled down East 8th Street toward Douglas Street.
  • After Cpl. Goddard had already vacated Lot 61 and was out of sight of Sgt. Foster and Officer Hughes, Officer Hughes started toward the exit of Lot 61 when he noticed a vehicle to his right at the intersection of East 8th Street and Houston Street. The vehicle made a left hand turn onto Houston Street.
  • A second vehicle, a white Volkswagen, approached the intersection at a higher rate of speed. Officer Hughes noticed the vehicle slowed, but stated that it continued through the intersection without stopping.
  • Sgt. Foster also observed the vehicle travel through the posted stop sign without coming to a stop. The officers stated that they could not clearly see the occupant of the white Volkswagen and could not tell the race or gender of the occupant.
  • Officer Hughes exited Lot 61 onto 8th Street to follow the vehicle east down East 8th Street. Around the same time, Cpl. Goddard made a U-turn on East 8th Street to travel back to Douglas Street and turn right toward McKenzie Arena. Cpl. Goddard indicated that, after he had left Lot 61 and started down East 8th Street, he mistakenly failed to turn at Douglas Street and made the U-turn on East 8th Street once he realized his mistake.
  • Officer Hughes called the tag of the white Volkswagen into dispatch after turning on East 8th Street to follow the vehicle and activated his front headlights to stop the white VW on East 8th Street, just past Brown Academy.
  • Officer Hughes stated that by the time he was able to catch up to the white Volkswagen, it had approached Douglas Street.
  • Officer Rex Sorenson heard the radio traffic and responded with his UTCPD vehicle toward the traffic stop to assist Officer Hughes.
  • The traffic stop was conducted since the driver of the white Volkswagen ran through a stop sign at the intersection of East 8th Street and Houston Street.
  • Officer Hughes approached the vehicle from the passenger side window. Officer Rex Sorenson responded to assist Officer Hughes with the traffic stop and approached the vehicle on the driver side. Sgt. Foster also approached the vehicle with Officer Hughes but was present only in an observation role to evaluate Officer Hughes’ performance.
  • Officer Hughes introduced himself as “Officer Hughes from the UTCPD,” and explained the reason for the detention to the driver. Officer Hughes advised the driver that she had run the stop sign located at East 8th Street and Douglas Street.
  • Officer Hughes mistakenly advised the wrong intersection for the traffic infraction as the occurrence was East 8th Street and Houston Street.
  • Officer Hughes did not realize his mistake while talking with the driver and never corrected himself to the driver.
  • Individuals from the nearby residence began directing profanity toward the on-scene officers and requested to know the reason for the traffic stop. One female stated, “Where is your warrant?” Sgt. Foster repeatedly advised the individuals not to interfere with the traffic stop.
  • Cpl. Goddard arrived and addressed the neighborhood individuals in an attempt to calm their reactions, telling them that he would speak with them once the stop had been concluded. Cpl. Goddard never approached the stopped vehicle.
  • Officer Hughes requested a driver’s license and vehicle registration from the driver.
  • The driver of the vehicle explained that her license was inside a bag in the trunk of her vehicle and Hughes requested her name and date of birth so that he could run that information through dispatch.
  • Additionally, the driver stated she was a faculty member at UTC and provided Officer Hughes with a Mocs ID. She further stated that her lawyer was inside one of the residences near the stop location.
  • After Officer Hughes collected the driver’s information and explained the reason for the stop, running a stop sign and the risks associated with pedestrians walking across the street, he released the driver with a warning. Officer Hughes’ interaction with the driver was courteous, friendly and professional during the entire encounter.
  • The fact that the driver had previously mentioned she was a UTC faculty member had no bearing on Officer Hughes’ decision to release her from the scene with a warning.
  • Officers at the scene reported the driver of the white Volkswagen never appeared anxious or upset during the traffic stop.
  • The individuals at the residence continued to direct profanity toward the on-scene officers. Those individuals were warned to refrain from interrupting a lawful police encounter and return to their residence. All officers remained calm, courteous and professional with the individuals throughout the approximate twelve-minute detention.
  • During the event, three UTCPD patrol vehicles were parked behind the suspect vehicle and four officers were present. After the stop was concluded, Cpl. Goddard and Officer Sorenson approached and briefly spoke with the individuals from the nearby residence.
  • After being released from the traffic stop, the driver turned her vehicle around and parked across the street from the residence occupied by the individuals interfering with the stop.
  • The driver walked over to the individuals and thanked them for checking on her, while they were still speaking with Cpl. Goddard. The driver was smiling and spoke with Cpl. Goddard about how Cpl. Goddard knew her husband.
  • All units left the scene with no further action.

End of Statement
Lt. John Boe #503
UTC Police Department

At the request of the person who was the subject of the June 24 traffic stop, the UTCPD has removed all videos of the traffic stop. The UTCPD continues to retain copies of the videos in its records.

Semester Test for UTC-ALERT (Jan. 9th)

UTC-ALERT Test scheduled for Thursday, January 9th, 2020. It is only a test.
UTC-ALERT messages share with the campus community critical information during emergencies.

Visual example of new alert method on Canvas.

In addition to text, email, beacons and social media, the UTC-ALERT message will also go to UTC Learn (Canvas) home page. As the learning management system used by all students and faculty, this will add to our emergency messaging efforts. We want to thank the Walker Center for connecting UTC-ALERT into UTC Learn.

To learn more about the UTC-ALERT system visit

Campus Safety Update (Fall 2019)

As our Chancellor Dr. Steven Angle and the Emergency Services team promised, steps have been taken to improve our emergency management plan. The update includes our updated lock-down procedure, communication/UTC-ALERT, campus trainings, and TEMA evaluation.

Lock-down Procedure

In the event of a threat to campus labeled as an Act of Violence (active shooter, potential gunman, violent protest, etc.) we will lock-down the campus until the threat is over. Remotely all exterior doors of academic buildings, residential halls and gymnasiums will be locked barring any potential dangerous person(s) to harm students, faculty, staff or visitors.

While all exterior doors are able to be locked remotely at this time, we are currently working on finding a visual mechanism to show that they are locked, enhancing a sense of security in a lock-down scenario.


Due to how long an ongoing situation could potentially last and how fast misinformation can spread, our plan now is to send out frequent updates, even if the message is still the same. In the event of Acts of Violence on campus we will send out an unified update via UTC-ALERT every 10-15 minutes to confirm that the situation is still being addressed, as well as information on how to stay safe in certain situations.

We have added an Alterus function to every computer on campus. When an UTC-ALERT message is pushed out that requires immediate action to stay safe, Alertus will trigger on all logged in screens and display alert information on what to do. This is only for UTC operated and owned desktops and cannot be added to personal devices.

Directions on the UTC-ALERT page on has been updated to be clear on how to sign up. Each individual with a UTC ID can sign up a total of three phone numbers and three email accounts to receive alert notifications. Efforts have been raised to address access to those who visit the campus or those who have a difficult time signing up the free service. If you are still having issues signing up, please contact Safety and Risk Management by email, or call 423-425-5741.

Campus Trainings

As of November 15th, a total of 700 faculty and staff have received Active Shooter training. These are mandatory trainings from the Chancellor’s Office and those whom have not received a training have been scheduled in the near future. A representative from both the Police Department and the Office of Safety and Risk Management provides the training at the departments location in order to help give specific training and field questions pertaining to their hall or building.

There have been three safety trainings offered to students, as well as a Campus Safety Forum hosted by SGA and a Town Hall Meeting open to campus addressing emergency preparedness in the state of Tennessee. Although these were not heavily attended, we received good feedback on how to get better outreach to students on safety as well as increasing efforts on creating resources online, thinkSAFE safety grams and social media presence via UTC Police Department and UTC Emergency Services.

TEMA Evaluation

Multiple representatives from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have given our emergency preparedness procedures and policies a thorough overview. After the regional director, among others, read through our plans a rep from TEMA came and gave the UTC leadership a summary of their findings. Based on their feedback we are bolstering minor changes; but, we are aligned with the state’s procedures and the surrounding agencies in the event of an emergency situation on campus.


On behalf of Emergency Services, we shall always continue to hold our main focus that is the well-being of our campus community.
Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving Break!