JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released its 2022 Crime on Campus Report, which shares details about the volume and nature of crime on college and university campuses across the state.

Compared to 2021, East Tennessee State University saw increased thefts, assaults, and drug violations. Sex offenses and vandalism cases decreased.

“One of the biggest concerns is a lot of times people are leaving valuables inside their vehicles and they’re leaving them unlocked,” said Cesar Gracia, ETSU police chief. “And, so it’s just giving thieves easy access to personal items.”

Gracia says ETSU’s police department is focused on crime prevention.

“One of the main events that we started to host on campus was ‘Meet Us Before You Need Us,'” said Gracia. “And it just gives us an opportunity to meet the students as well as giving them some crime prevention tips. “

Jordan Fanuele is an ETSU student who lives on campus. She says she hasn’t experienced any safety issues.

“I think campus security is doing a pretty good job, since I feel so safe to just walk,” said Fanuele. “I’m from New York and I can’t say the same about that, but on campus I can just walk at 4 a.m. after doing a project to my dorm and I don’t have any problems.”

Afton Burton is a sophomore at ETSU and says she generally feels safe on campus.

“I’ve never had an incident where I felt unsafe walking on campus or anything like that,” said Burton. “And you’ll see public safety around at all times and it’s a very well-lit campus as well. So, I’ve always felt very safe and protected here.”

ETSU police have several ways crimes on campus can be reported.

“Not only do we have what we call the blue phones, the emergency phones,” said Gracia. “We also have an app that’s called the ETSU App where people can report crimes that are being occurred and it can be done anonymously. They can also take videos and photos and provide them to our department so that we can follow up on that information as well.”

Gracia says they are also pushing out a campaign called “See Something, Say Something.” In that campaign, they encourage people to immediately report an incident or anything suspicious.

“We need them to let us know so we can investigate it,” said Gracia. “We are very big proponents of we would much rather have the information and it be nothing as opposed to someone refrains from reporting something that might be suspicious and where they fail to report it we’re unable to act until it’s too late.”

Gracia encourages students and anyone on campus to practice situational awareness.