Florida A&M University Police Department will launch a campus edition of the safety mobile app “LiveSafe.” The app will allow users to anonymously report incidents, view the location of reported crimes in their area and request safety escorts.
Terence Calloway, FAMU’s chief of police, hopes that using technology will help prevent incidents and keep students and faculty safe.
“Every student has a cell phone now,” Calloway said. “We wanted to make sure that we had something that they can have on their phone in the event that something happens, it will be readily accessible to them.”
FAMU is an open campus, student, faculty and visitor security is a top priority for the department. As incoming freshman, students have been warned about walking on campus alone, especially at night.
Ebony Austin, a fourth-year nursing student, worries the most about her safety when she is walking late at night.
“At night when I’m done at the library and I have to walk all the way to either the parking garage or the set is when I feel the least safe,” Austin said.
Late night walking is an example of when users can activate one of the LiveSafe features.
The “SafeWalk” feature will allow users to either ask a friend to watch them walk or request to watch a friend walk. Both options utilize the user’s GPS location.
The app also feature a student escort team. If a user is on campus and does not feel safe walking alone, they can request an escort from the FAMU PD team.
BJ Bell, a third-year FAMU criminal justice student, says he uses the buddy system with friends who don’t want to walk alone. He welcomes the new app that he hopes all students will use.
“I had a female classmate that I used to walk with in the early mornings,” Bell said. “It was still pretty dark outside, so I would walk with her from Palmettos to the café.”
This year, the police department and parking services has introduced new technology that eliminates the need for parking decals. Cameras on the patrol cars can now detect cars parking in the wrong place, as well as any unregistered vehicles.
Both departments have plans to integrate more technology on campus like new parking meter kiosks.
In addition to the “SafeWalk” and Escort Team features, FAMU police department will continue to send its text message alerts whenever an incident is reported nearby.
The LiveSafe app is free for both iOS and Android devices. The full version of the app is set to launch on Oct. 19.