The University of Virginia Launches New Safety App to Help Prevent Crimes
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Students at The University of Virginia now have a new app to keep them safe. UVA launched the app, LiveSafe, to help the University Police Department and Office of Emergency Management fight crimes before they even happen.
The app comes with a bunch of different safety features to help provide the most protection possible. Officers say students should still be cautious and aware of their surroundings even with this new app in their pocket.
The University of Virginia just got a lot safer thanks to the help of a little new technology.
"This app is just one more piece in sort of our holistic approach to safety and security here at UVA and in the larger UVA community,” said Gloria Graham, associate vice president for safety and security.
The free LiveSafe app is compatible with Apple IOS and Android devices.
“You just go to the app store and download the LiveSafe app and once you do, it will allow you to pick sort of the neighborhood you want to belong to,” said Graham.
Police officers encourage all students to download it to stay connected.
“It gives us a first good impression for our students coming in. You get to put a face with a name. And we're not just a badge, we're actually people, and we can go ahead and interact with them and tell them a little bit about the school and what we're here to do," said Jamal Hurd, university police officer.
In case of an emergency, students will receive real time alerts and instant connections to officers.
"It also allows us to push emergency information and notifications to anyone who's downloaded the application, and it allows users to have direct two-way communication to the university police department,” Graham said.
One unique feature other apps don't have this one does have, is you can go to your contacts and virtually select someone to ride or walk with you so you're never alone.
"This becomes really helpful as we look at ride share safety, we look at safety of those who are going to be walking or traversing from home,” said Graham.
Officers say crime rates at the university are relatively low, but this new app is a proactive step intended to help keep it that way.
"The app is there to help people know what's going on around the school, to help them avoid getting into situations that are dangerous,” said Hurd.
Other universities across Virginia are also using this same app. If students visit other schools and have the app, they can change their location to that neighborhood and receive the same safety features.