LiveSafe mobile app improves campus safety
September 15, 2014
A new smartphone app is available for the Virginia Tech community to help them stay safe and informed.
LiveSafe, available for Android and Iphone devices, allows students, faculty, and staff to send tips and messages to Virginia Tech Police, share their location with friends or family as they walk on campus, find buildings on campus, and access emergency preparedness information.
The Report Tips feature lets users select one of several incidents to report including accident, assault, suspicious activity, theft, or other; enter their message; and even attach audio, photo, text, or video files. Users can select to send the tip anonymously and all tips go directly to the university police department
In emergency situations, the LiveSafe app can be used to call or message the police. When calling 911 or campus police, users can enable their phone to provide GPS location to receive faster police response. Just-in-time preparedness information is available with tips on evacuating, secure and shelter in place, bomb threats, and more.
With the SafeWalk feature, users can share their location as they walk, and selected friends or family can watch their progress on a map to ensure a safe arrival. A 911 button can quickly call the police if there are safety concerns.
“We are excited to offer the LiveSafe app to our community. It is one of many tools that can be used to make personal safety and protection decisions. Best of all, it’s easy to download and use,” said Virginia Tech Police Chief Kevin Foust.
Other features of the app allow users to find nearby fire, police and medical services, and see a map of blue light phone locations. While the university community should still sign up for VT Phone Alerts, LiveSafe users will receive non-emergency safety tips and other information.
“Using the LiveSafe app and signing up for VT Phone Alerts are ways to keep safe and informed. Having multiple ways of getting information during an emergency is critical,” said Foust.
Kristina Anderson, a 2009 graduate with degrees in international studies and foreign languages, helped create the app. She is a survivor of the April 16 tragedy and has since become an advocate for campus safety.
“Virginia Tech’s unique understanding of the importance of collaboration and communication in campus safety has helped make them a prominent leader among universities,” said Anderson. “LiveSafe is extremely proud to be partnering with the university’s police department and emergency management.”
The Virginia Tech Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management partnered to bring LiveSafe to campus. Police officers and emergency dispatchers have been trained in LiveSafe’s capabilities.
While some of the features might work off campus, LiveSafe is meant for use on the Blacksburg campus.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.