FROM STAFF REPORTS



The University of Tennessee-Martin is located in the state's safest college
town and the sixth safest in the United States, FBI data show.

A new book, "Crime at College: The Student Guide to Personal Safety," uses
FBI crime statistics for 1992 to highlight crime at colleges and their
surrounding areas.

"Students and their parents are looking for a high-quality college,
education in a safe environment," UTM Chancellor Margaret Perry said.

The city of Martin's annual crime rate of 1.76 crimes per 100 residents was
the lowest for a college town in Tennessee.

"This would take into account Martin, Weakley County and surrounding areas
where students live, work and socialize," said Ted Council, UTM director of
safety and security.

The nation's safest college town -1.14 crimes per 100 residents-is Cedar
Falls, Iowa, where the University of Northern Iowa is located.

"Our main problem (at UT-Martin) is theft of personal property, and this is
normally because someone walks out of their dorm room and leaves the door
open," Council said. "I can't remember us ever having a dorm room door
forced open." Council has worked at UT-Martin for 26 years.

UTM's department of housing has installed peepholes in dorm doors, lock
security systems and security cameras in recent years.

Doors to four residence halls are locked 24 hours a day. Students use their
ID cards to get into the buildings.

New freshmen are provided information on how to avoid violence and similar
programs are presented several times a year to prospective students and
their parents.

The new book on crime statistics rates Cookeville the second safest major
college town in Tennessee (2.25 per 100 residents), followed in order by
Johnson City (3.99), Murfreesboro (5.27), Clarksville (5.72), Knoxville
(6.16), Chattanooga (6.61), Memphis (8.95) and Nashville (9.72).

The most dangerous college town in the United States, according to the
book, is St. Louis with 14.8 crimes per 100 residents annually.