Tech has the third lowest crime rate in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, according to a 2011 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation campus crime survey of the six four-year Universities.
The 2011 TBI campus crime statistics showed East Tennessee State University with the third highest crime rate, not far above Tech, with a crime per-capita rate of 0.0250. Tennessee State University and Middle Tennessee State University were first and second highest, with annual crime rates of 0.0433 and 0.0289, respectively.
“I was initially surprised to see the results after I compared the different four-year schools to one another,” Gay Sheppard, Tech police chief, said. “But we also had a lot of categories where Tech was well below average, such as robbery, where we had zero as opposed to TSU having four.”
The University of Memphis placed fifth, leaving Austin Peay State University with the lowest crime rate at 0.0093.
“We’re very meticulous with our reporting process,” Sheppard said. “We encourage students to report everything. I talk to the incoming freshman at the SOAR events and make sure that they know to always call the police.
“I think this could have increased our overall numbers, but we don’t have hardly any of the more severe crimes that you see on other campuses.”
Corey Masters, a senior History student at Tech, said, “One of the reasons why I chose to attend this University was based on how safe and secure you feel while on campus. I walk from the library to my car really late at night sometimes and have never had a problem.”
The crime rates were determined by dividing the number of crimes reported by campus agencies by the number of students who attended the University that year.
For instance, in 2011 Tech had 241 reported crimes and a campus population of 10,657, resulting in a crime rate of 0.0226. In the same year, U of M had 403 reported crimes and a campus population of 24,803, resulting in a crime rate of 0.0162.