Va. Wesleyan encourages students to download safety app

Ava Hurdle on campus safety app at Va. Wesleyan

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — On most college campuses, students are constantly using their mobile devices, and Virginia Wesleyan College is using that fact to increase security.

The college is trying to get the word out to students to download the new LiveSafe app. It allows two-way communication between the campus community and campus security, particularly when it comes to reporting a crime.

“Everyone has a smart phone in their pocket, for the most part. So why not use it for something other than Facebook or Twitter? I would think Virginia Wesleyan College is a pretty safe campus, but I know another level of safety can’t hurt,” said student Josh Ford.

The new LiveSafe app allows users to report safety related tips anonymously via text, picture and video. Users can also engage in a live chat. And then there’s the feature called “SafeWalk.”

“The ability to monitor one another through an application called safe walk,” said Dr. Keith Moore, VWC’s Dean of Students. “It’s where they can invite a friend to watch their location on a campus map and make sure they arrive at their destination safely.”

Already the college has security officers on vehicle patrol, on bikes riding around campus and emergency call boxes posted near instructional and residential buildings. But Aaron Oyee, an incoming freshman, likes the new app.

“If anything goes down on campus or there’s any kind of problem, there’s a way you can find help or contact somebody,” he said. “If you see something going wrong, you can let anybody know.”

The new LiveSafe app is also seen as a faster way to get emergency help. App users would receive a text, email or push notification on their mobile device in the event of a campus emergency.

Campus security will monitor the app 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Nearby Old Dominion University also recently launched the LiveSafe app on campus.

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