As I have mentioned before, law enforcement agencies across the nation have begun using social media as a method to help prevent and investigate crimes, such as the agency I mentioned in the Tampa Bay area in Flordia. Now, West Virginia University Police and WVU Tech are hopping on the social media bandwagon to help keep their students safe in Morgantown and Montgomery, West Virginia. WVU and WVU Tech, and Potomac State are partnering with LiveSave, a company that strives to make communities a safer place, to implement their services and launch the app for students and faculty on these campuses. The app was created by Kristina Anderson, a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting that killed 32 students and injured 17 others in 2007.
Kristina Anderson Talks to WVU Students.
LiveSafe offers services to corporate businesses, government departments, higher education, and just students in general. As for college campuses, West Virginia University in particular, this app seems like it could really benefit the safety of the students and all other members of the campus community.
Check out what the WVU Police are saying about this new app:
— WVUToday (@wvutoday) May 22, 2014
The app would allow users to:
- Report an anonymous tip (photo, video and text options) about a suspicious act taking place.
- Call campus police or 911 in an emergency situation.
- View a map of Morgantown with the latest information on crimes that have been reported over a specific length of time.
- Notify friends in real-time of your location and safety through a one-button monitoring service or an electronic escort service.
West Virginia University Police Chief, Bob Roberts, shared his thoughts on the app and how it will benefit this campus, “The LiveSafe App will help to open the communication lines between WVU Police and our community to help prevent crimes across campus,” Roberts said. “LiveSafe allows every community member with a smart phone the opportunity to have a direct connection with police at all times to help assure the safety of our citizens.” Along with how users of the app can communicate with police regarding crimes or suspicious activity in the area, the agency was aware that a lot of people are skeptical about doing this because they don’t want their names to be know in case they ask them to come in and make statements, act as witnesses, etc., so they made it so that the app is completley anonymous for its users.
I also had the opportunity to hear University Police Sergeant, Jeffrey Wright, speak in one of my classes about the app and how they are beginning the launch of it on our campus. He mentioned the app and what it is used for, but he focused more strongly on a certain feature that the app offers, which is called WalkSafe. The WalkSafe feature would allow students to send an invitation to one of their friends when they are leaving downtown, walking home, or just walking anywhere, particularly during the night time or early morning hours, where more crime is likely to take place. This would allow whoever you invite, to virtually walk you home and to make sure you get to your destination safely. It does this by connecting your location to google maps, so whoever you send your invitation to can follow you on the app, and ultimately make sure that you got to your intended destination safely.
Have you taken the time to download LiveSafe yet? It’s a great new app for use on campus. Check it out here –> http://t.co/2lt9jmm9UE
— WVU Police (@WVUPD) August 15, 2014
This app seems to have the potential to be very beneficial on our campus, as walking home after a late night of drinking; could lead to a series of problems. It appears to have made positive impacts on other college campuses across the country, and WVU would definitely fall into that category due to its partying reputation. Since most students on college campuses now have smart phones, it is as simple as downloading it; it’s free and it provides protection, I don’t see a reason for this not to work.