With campus shootings and crime rattling the country in recent months, tech firms and universities have taken an advance turn to supply students with in-palm methods of alerting authorities about on-campus crimes.
Last week Arizona State University announced its launch of the school’s LiveSafe app, which allows users to report tips to the ASU Police Department, text or chat with the police in realtime, as well as other safety devices.
Crimes in relation to forcible sexual offenses and aggravated assault at four-year public universities have climbed between 2010 and 2012, according to the most recent data available from the Department of Education. Whereas, burglary declined by nearly 15 percent nationwide, dropping from 10,360 cases in 2010 to 8,761 incidents in 2012.
At ASU’s Tempe campus, burglary remained the top offense with 98 occurrences in 2012 and followed a statewide trend that accumulated to 230 burglaries in 2012 at Arizona public universities.
The mobile app was created by Virginia-based LiveSafe, which is co-founded by a Virginia Tech shooting survivor. ASU LiveSafe mobile app users can chat anonymously with ASU Police in real-time via chat, pictures, audio and video. During times of distress, a link with an accurate GPS location can be sent to alert a LiveSafe user’s personal emergency contacts.
“LiveSafe is committed to making the world a safer place, and we’re proud to partner with institutions like Arizona State University,” said LiveSafe President & CEO, Jenny Abramson. “Technology is breaking down barriers for students to take more ownership of their campuses, to actively look out for one another, and to create a safer environment to get the most out of the college experience.”
As for those late night walks home from class? Friends and family can now virtually walk an app user home. The app’s SafeWalk feature uses GPS-tagged monitoring to track an app user’s progress on a Web-based map.
Although ASU was the first to start a safety-based mobile app, other schools around Arizona have mobile apps that include emergency features. University of Arizona, for instance, has an app that allows users to stay informed of critical notices on the campus and get easy access to key emergency contact numbers.
Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University also have student-centered apps with campus information and up-to-date student resources.
Hopefully there will continue to be campus safety-focused apps popping up around Arizona campuses to keep students and educators safe.
To download the free ASU LiveSafe mobile app:
1. Visit Apple iTunes or Google Play stores
2. Search for LiveSafe
3. Download the app to your mobile device
4. Select Arizona State University
Learn more about LiveSafe here.
The company notes that the ASU LiveSafe mobile app does not replace 911 emergency services or any communications with local police departments.