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Mobile Phones, Apps Are Crucial To Campus Safety Services
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Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
   
   
  Originally Published on: 8/24/2014

College campuses work hard to maintain a safe and secure enviromment for students, and now technology is changing the way they do that. We look at how mobile phones and apps are crucial to the next generation of campus safety services. At a school like Georgetown University, academics are always top of mind. But on an urban campus, Student Body President Trevor Tezel says there's another priority as well. "I think students are always aware of campus safety, they understand that we're living in a city, and that entails certain things," he says. This fall, Georgetown will start using an app called "LiveSafe," which allows students to report on-campus emergencies with the tap of a smartphone., an act with which they're fairly comfortable. "They're really nervous about a situation but they really can't tell what to do and it doesn't feel worthy of calling the police," says Jenny Abramson, LiveSafe President and CEO. "And so what the app has does is it lowers barrier sharing." LiveSafe is just one of several campus security apps utilizing a generation's fast adoption of mobile technology. CEO Jenny Abramson says there's a crowdsourcing element, too, helping fellow students steer clear of potentially dicey situations. "We find that people are willing to send information, put it on a map and help each other be safer both user-to-user and user-to-group," says Abramson. "And really our goal is to do both." Other apps used by colleges include Emergensee, which lets users pre-select a contact list, share a GPS location and stream video of potential incidents, among other functions. And Rave Guardian, which also features a panic button for communication with campus police. "I think what this does is recognizes the changing nature of how we interact with each other and addresses the safety component of that," says Tezel. Making students more active participants, in safety, with a device they always have on hand.

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