In an ongoing effort to ensure the safety and well-being of its students and community members, Franklin & Marshall College is offering a mobile safety app that connects students, faculty and staff to campus public safety personnel with a tap of an icon on a smart phone.
College campuses across the country are adopting the new technology, called LiveSafe. Locally, Millersville University and Elizabethtown College employ the mobile app.
Students are encouraged to use the app and should find its many features useful in enhancing their individual safety on or off campus, said Maria Flores-Mills, senior associate dean of the College.
"It's great to offer an additional option to the 'safety tool kit' available to all students in a format they will likely prefer and to enhance the already healthy and robust relationship between students and public safety," she said.
LiveSafe allows users to easily and anonymously share information, as well as security concerns, directly with the College's Department of Public Safety using text, photos and video. Users will receive important alerts and notifications from DPS and have quick and easy access to safety resources and phone numbers.
When reporting an emergency or incident through the app, users are immediately connected to a DPS dispatcher, who will see on DPS' computer monitor the location where the user is sending the tip. The app does not continue to track the user once the tip is sent. The DPS dispatch board is monitored 24 hours a day.
Another feature, Safe Walk, allows a user to share his or her location with friends, family and colleagues so they can track the user's movement from place to place. Or, in an emergency, users can have DPS track them using the Emergency Option icon.
Some F&M students already using the app said they have found it to be a useful tool with an unlimited range, allowing them to connect with another emergency service even if they are far from the college.
"I have no doubt whatsoever that students will appreciate the sense of security LiveSafe will bring," said rising junior Donnell Bailey. "We're able to access it instantly, allowing us to get a quick response to our concerns."
Director of Public Safety William McHale said the app centralizes several safety-related resources on a device that the vast majority of students have with them at all times.
"Users of this app will be able to reach out to DPS and remain completely anonymous," McHale said. "They will be able to report suspicious activity, request walking escorts, refer to safety procedures, and engage in Safe Walk."
The app gives the College yet another way to enhance the safety of its community, McHale said.
"Mobile safety apps are becoming popular across the country, and we are proud to be in on the front end of this initiative," he said. "I am committed to ensuring that we provide the safest possible environment for our students, faculty, staff, and all who come to campus. I'm confident that LiveSafe will become a valuable resource for our community."
How to Get LiveSafe
2. Sign up using your F&M email address.
3. Create a password and fill in your first and last names.
4. Search for "Franklin & Marshall" to connect with the College.