Students at California Baptist University will have the opportunity to report tips, brush up on emergency procedures and ask for safety officer escorts all from their smartphones come mid-November with the roll out of the new app LiveSafe.
CBU’s Safety Services is partnering with LiveSafe, a public safety application that colleges and universities across the country use, to provide another way for students to easily get help rather than waiting by the blue emergency phones or manually dialing out an emergency contact number.
“We thought because students are really accustomed to being smartphone dependent, it offered something they would already be accustomed to,” said Leon Phillips, assistant director of Public Safety.
Features include a map of the campus, options to report a tip through video, photo or direct message and buttons to call 911 or Public Safety with one click.
“As technology continues to grow and campus continues to grow, it gives another avenue to students who maybe don’t like to call in or don’t have access to our phone number,” said Matt Altheide, Public Safety dispatcher.
When students call through the app, dispatchers will be able to view the students’ location on a map, as well. If it is a dangerous situation that requires the police, Phillips said that Public Safety officers can assist until help can come.
“We would be the closest people who would be able to respond to something like that and start to kind of triage the circumstances and see what’s really necessary and provide some level of security while police are enroute,” he said.
June Lee, junior early childhood studies major, said she used to be scared to walk the campus at night but soon realized that Public Safety was available to assist. She considers the addition of an application to be beneficial to her and other students.
“That would be so convenient,” she said. “Instead of having to look up the number, (we can) actually call them if we had an app that would help us communicate with them right away.”
A special feature called SafeWalk allows students to request friends to view their location on a map and watch them walk to destinations on campus. They can message back and forth while they walk, and once they’ve reached the destination, they can end the connection.
Student workers and dispatchers will continue to be trained over the next couple of weeks before the app goes live.