NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk says he wants to work with the state’s colleges and universities to help keep them safe.
Funk spoke at a Crime Stoppers meeting hosted by Tennessee State University on Feb. 11. The meetings are held at a different regional higher education institution or police facility each month, and allow security officials from various law enforcement agencies to come together and share information about criminal incidents that have occurred at surrounding colleges and universities.
“We try to collectively look at the crime that’s happening in our area,” said Thomas Jackson, commander of TSU’s Police Department and the meeting’s organizer. “And brainstorm about what we can do to make our universities and colleges more safe for our students, faculty and staff.”
In the case of TSU, Funk said the DA’s office has designated a person to be a liaison between the university and his office. He said if there’s a criminal issue on the campus, TSU’s leadership can go to that person and they can make prosecutorial decisions together.
“Whatever the issues are, the only way that we can effectively prosecute cases is to make sure that we have an understanding with law enforcement, or with security, in order to make sure that everybody is on the same page going forward,” Funk said. “One of the reasons I wanted to come out here and talk to this group is I want to make sure that every one of your individual agencies knows, my door is open.”
Other issues at the meeting included efforts to educate students about domestic violence, as well as fraudulent activity.
“The sad thing with domestic violence is a lot of them don’t even know the warning signs,” said Aerin Washington, TSU’s crime prevention officer.
She also said a lot of students fall victim to fraudulent activity, like credit card schemes.
“We see quite a bit of it on campus,” Washington said. “And so there’s definitely room to educate our students about just avoiding the risks that are associated with those activities, and just educating them on how to prevent being victim.”
Funk said he plans to attend future Crime Stopper meetings.
“Hopefully I’ll be coming back to sit and listen,” Funk said before the meeting. “This is kind of where the rubber meets the road when it comes to community safety, and community spirit.”
Besides TSU, other higher education institutions that participate in Crime Stoppers include Aquinas College, Belmont University, Cumberland College, Fisk University, Lipscomb University, Meharry Medical College, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville State Community College, Trevecca Nazarene College, Vanderbilt University and Vol State Community College.
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