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TBI: 3 unsolved forcible rape cases at ETSU in 2017, 28 assaults

TBI crime report

A new report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation shows crime rates for college campuses within the state in 2017.

At ETSU's campus in Johnson City, there were three forcible rape offenses, none of which were cleared. There were also 28 assault cases, 71 theft offenses and 33 drug violations. You can see the full crime report for ETSU, and other college and universities in Tennessee, here.

Nicole Collins is a little more than a month on the job as ETSU's new police chief. She'll be tasked daily with the goal of making ETSU's campus a safer place to live and learn.

"Students can play a role by one, recognizing that personal safety begins with them," Collins told WCYB. "They can be responsible for their property, and understanding the environment they're coming from is not necessarily the environment that they are in. They are in a city within a city."

Collins plans to prioritize event safety. With thousands of visitors coming to the campus for sporting events, planning and preparation are crucial.

"What keeps me up at night is looking at planning. The 'what ifs,'" Collins said. "But I am confident in the administration, in my department. When I have a thought that wakes me up, we come in and discuss and we're going to work on a plan."

At times, the Johnson City Police Department is called in to help campus police with serious cases, like sexual assaults. Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why many cases go unsolved.

"It's always a challenge because, a lot of times, victims of sexual assault don't want to report those crimes," Capt. Matt Howell, of the Johnson City Police Department, said. "We encourage anyone who has been a victim of any type of sexual assault to please contact us."

Chief Collins looks forward to students returning later this month, so she can make her mark on a safer ETSU.

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