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Message from Chief Troy Lane Regarding Security Plans for Saturday, February 17

I want to make you aware of the security plans for this Saturday, February 17, when the Traditionalist Worker Party is holding a meeting on campus. The event will affect our campus throughout the day, with most activity expected to take place from noon to 5 p.m. If you plan to be on campus, please be aware of your surroundings and your personal safety.

The group is assigned to a space in Buehler Hall, an academic building on the Hill. The UT Police Department has consulted with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and determined that this location will provide the safest and most secure environment and minimize disruption to other activities on campus. Those agencies will be working in coordination with UTPD to provide the safest environment possible.

All classes and other events on the Hill are canceled for Saturday, and buildings will be locked. Other events on campus will go on as planned. The following buildings will be locked: Ayres Hall, Dabney-Buehler Hall, Science and Engineering Research Facility, Nielsen Physics Building, Hesler Biology Building, Austin Peay Building, Walters Life Science Building, Burchfiel Geography Building, Min H. Kao EECS Building, Dougherty Engineering Building, Ferris Hall, South College, Alumni Memorial Building, and Perkins Hall.

A secure demonstration area will be staged on the Ayres Hall lawn adjoining Cumberland Avenue. Anyone wanting to enter the demonstration area will be moved through a checkpoint with metal detectors near the entrance to Circle Drive.

The campus clear bag policy will be in effect for the demonstration area. Handheld signs and banners made of cloth, paper, or cardboard will be permitted.

Prohibited items include:

  • Firearms, knives, electrical weapons, or chemical sprays
  • Liquids or drink containers of any kind, coolers, and food. Only required medical items are permitted.
  • Poles, sticks, clubs, flashlights, umbrellas, athletics equipment, or other items that could be considered or used as an improvised weapon
  • Masks or face coverings
  • Shields or other handheld defensive barriers
  • Fireworks, noise makers, or amplified sound device
  • Tents, canopies, or chairs
  • Drones and remote-controlled devices
  • Animals other than ADA-approved service animals
  • Any other items that campus police determine may pose a risk to safety

There will be no restrooms available to the public.

All roadways onto the Hill will close to vehicular traffic beginning at midnight Friday, including Circle Drive, Middle Drive, Estabrook Road, and Lower Drive. The 11th Street (G13) Garage and pedestrian bridge also will be closed.

Cars parked on the Hill or in the 11th Street (G13) Parking Garage after 5 a.m. Saturday will be towed. Towed vehicles can be claimed by contacting UTPD at 865-974-3114.

A buffer zone will be set up between Buehler Hall and the protest area. Only law enforcement officers and emergency personnel will be permitted in the buffer zone.

Units from the Knoxville Fire Department and ambulances will be on standby in the event of an emergency.

If you are in the area Saturday, be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious activity by calling UTPD at 865-974-3114 or by texting 69050. Type “VOLS (space)” before beginning your message.

Visitors to campus who wish to temporarily receive UT Alerts on February 17 can text 67283 then type the keyword “speaker17feb.” Read more about UT Alert.

The UT Police Department, at 1101 Cumberland Ave., is in close proximity to the protest area. Additionally, there are campus blue phones in the area that anyone can use to connect with UTPD.

You can also follow UTPD (@utpolice) or the University of Tennessee (@utknoxville) on Twitter for updates.

Troy Lane

Chief of Police
Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Safety