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New app aims to bridge gap among WSSU community, police

By Demetrius Dillard
On February 15, 2016

Many throughout the Winston-Salem State community might have questioned their safety at some point – particularly within the last few months – and possible ways to strengthen on-campus security. Well, there’s an app for that.

LiveSafe, a free mobile application available for WSSU students, faculty, staff and visitors was launched in early January to enhance on-campus safety according to a WSSU law enforcement official.

The LiveSafe mobile application provides the
WSSU community with a convenient way to
communicate to police, thus enhancing
on-campus safety.

Photo Credit: www.wssu.edu

Amir Henry, WSSU interim deputy police chief, said WSSU Police Chief Patricia Norris along with the University’s police department and in cooperation with WSSU’s IT department, launched LiveSafe.

“We’re [WSSU Police] always looking for something that will help the campus when it comes to being safe,” Henry said. “We were out there looking and there were different products, so that [LiveSafe] was the one that we decided to go with.”

Henry said Derrick Murray, associate provost and chief information officer, and Darrell Jeter, emergency management director with Campus Police, played significant roles in the app’s inception.

“We were trying to find the best way to communicate with the campus community, and we understand that there are different people out there that feel certain ways about talking with police, so we’re trying to bridge that gap between the campus community and the police,” he said.

LiveSafe can be downloaded on Apple and Android mobile devices from Google Play or the App Store.

From there the user registers his/her email, fills out the profile and verifies his/her account. Then once the user selects “Winston-Salem State University,” everything is set and ready to go.

The app, which is also used on many other campuses throughout the United States, also enables two-way messaging between users and safety officials.

According to the WSSU website, the app allows the campus community to communicate quickly and effectively with Campus Police.

“Through the app, users can directly access police and 911 emergency services, share their location with friends, and submit tips about potential campus safety issues anonymously to Campus Police,” according to the webpage.

The app has a several features to ensure and maximize protection:

• Go Safe enables users to ask friends and family to virtually walk them to a destination or request a Ram Shuttle ride;

• Report Tips enables users to anonymously submit tips on any suspicious activity with the ability alsoto include pictures and video;

• Emergency Options enables users to reach both campus and city police promptly;

• Safety Map displays crime data and safety locations;

• Emergency Procedures provides, access to safety resources and information, according to wssu.edu.

Henry said Campus Police has already received a great amount of texts, pictures and a variety of information through LiveSafe, adding that he was excited to see so many students who value their safety.

Though LiveSafe is a free application with promising features and resources, it still had a cost.

“This [app] is something we got approved through Finance and Administration. We explained to them why this was important for our campus to have. And we presented it to them and they thought that it would work, and so they gave us the funding to pay for this application without it being something that the students would have to pay for,” he said.

Henry said he was unsure of the exact cost of the app.

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