The Campus Police Department at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center was among the winners of the Tennessee Highway Safety Office’s 2021 Tennessee Lifesavers and Law Enforcement Challenge. The department won the conference’s Rookie Award, given to organizations that enter the law enforcement challenge for the first time. UTHSC Campus Police also finished third in the Law Enforcement Challenge, which highlighted departmental safety efforts.
Held in Franklin, Tennessee, the conference is free to anyone interested in learning more about highway safety issues, updated technology, and policies that can be implemented to combat issues, including speeding. It also allows agencies from Tennessee to learn from one another and establish goals in traffic safety enforcement and education. Participating agencies had to apply for the award competition by submitting presentations or videos.
“This win means a lot and shows that the hard work and initiatives done all year were not in vain,” said UTHSC Campus Police Captain Joanne Morrow. “Under the direction and leadership of Chief Anthony Berryhill, we remain committed to the safety of the campus community. Our documented efforts demonstrated our dedication to the community we serve, and each day, we are enforcing traffic laws on the roadways to correct drivers’ behavior. We want to bring awareness to not only the campus community, but also the commuters who travel through the Medical District.”
The UTHSC Campus Police Department submitted a PowerPoint presentation that displayed how it was able to promote traffic safety initiatives with the campus community, as well as programs, and campaigns officers participated in for 2020. “Although this is and was challenging due to COVID-19, our officers still have managed to remain safe, while enforcing traffic laws,” Captain Morrow said. “Another challenge was trying to get the message to officers on how to minimize contact with the public because of the pandemic, while remaining vigilant about the safety of the students, faculty, and staff remaining on campus and those walking and commuting.”
Additionally, some of the training and campaign initiatives the department participated in were displayed in the PowerPoint. Chief Berryhill hosted a training that focused on officers’ interactions with the public on traffic stops that was designed to bring awareness to team members about exercising patience, compassion, and restraint during traffic stops. For campaigns, the department partnered with the Collegiate Life Investment Foundation for the “Mask Up, Speed Down” campaign to slow drivers down and promote masking during the pandemic, as well as the “Click It or Ticket” campaign to raise public awareness of using seatbelts and child restraints and the laws associated with their use.