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Monday March 27th

Department of Public Safety releases the 'next generation' of safety app

<p>The new Department of Public Safety app, LiveSafe,&nbsp;just hit the&nbsp;App Store and Google Play Store.</p>
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The new Department of Public Safety app, LiveSafe, just hit the App Store and Google Play Store.

A new campus safety app allows students to anonymously report tips to DPS. 

LiveSafe, a student-initiated safety app, went public on Thursday. LiveSafe allows users to report tips on incidents ranging from traffic accidents and self-harm to drug abuse and assault. 

App users will be able to select a friend or family member to monitor their walk. The person monitoring will be notified when the person walking gets to their location to ensure they made it safely. In the case of an individual not making it to their destination in the time allotted, the watcher will know to contact the authorities.

The app was recommended by the Nighttime Travel Working Group, which was commissioned by Vice Chancellors Winston Crisp and Matthew Fajack. Derek Kemp, associate vice chancellor for campus safety and risk management, chaired the working group.

“Students have noticed this app being successful at other universities, so when the working group (was) charged to look at night-time travel and safety … students brought forth the recommendation to bring LiveSafe onto campus,” Chancellor’s Fellow Rachel Gogal said. 

Gogal said the app is not just for students. It is for anybody that is on or visiting campus. 

Previously, the safety app Rave Guardian was introduced to campus, but it was not popular among students. 

Kemp said one of the reasons the Rave Guardian app may not have been successful is because it was not marketed well, which led to low awareness. 

To fix this problem, marketing for the LiveSafe app has been tailored to its different stakeholders. Students have been targeted through social media accounts while faculty and staff may get the information through a listserv or faculty training.

“We are trying to be very out front and visible and vocal about what we’re doing, why we’re doing," Kemp said. "One of the things we are trying to do is to encourage and drive that usage up, beyond where it has been, in terms of safety applications."

Kemp said LiveSafe has new features and in time will replace the Rave Mobile Safety app.

“I would call this the next generation of the app,” Kemp said. “It has capabilities in terms of its ability to anonymously report information to DPS, the ability to monitor another individual’s walk.”

Kemp said LiveSafe is important to have because people on campus serve as the best set of eyes — officers cannot notice everything.

“People are going to see things and they can see things that, for instance, it does not have to be something that’s criminal,” Kemp said. “It could be that something is broken or somebody removed a brick and there is a trip hazard.”

“I think the report tips tab would be very beneficial," senior Abena Adu-Nyako said. "Like the lost and found, people will need that at any time during the day.” 

Kemp and Gogal said the app will not be static. Since the people using the app are the campus’s extra set of eyes, it is encouraged that they give feedback on what is working or what is not working with the app.

Kemp said LiveSafe presents an individual responsibility to safety.

“The safety approach here is 24/7, 365 days … it never stops,” Kemp said. "We are looking for opportunities to make this campus safer. This is just one element in a larger vision and we are just dedicated and focused to try to make this campus as safe as possible."


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