Ever since the EmergenSee application became no longer operational last semester, the Department of Public Safety has been searching for a new replacement to satisfy the safety needs of the Fairfield University community.
It is worth noting that DPS strongly advises that students do not download the application until the official release date.
Officially launching on Feb. 5 across campus, the LiveSafe Application, available on iOS and Android devices, will seek to fulfill the safety needs of students in new ways that EmergenSee was incapable of.
Assistant Director of DPS John Ritchie detailed the new features the app will offer. “It’s a little more robust and offers more options. It obviously has the red emergency button, where it can call 911 or it can call DPS,” said Ritchie. “The old system didn’t really have this feature, but now It can actually message DPS.”
One of the features that Ritchie emphasized was the fact that one can actually report specific tips regarding crime or violations on campus through the app’s interface. For instance, if one has a policy violation they would like to report, or even a simple request for building maintenance or cleaning services, they can use the app in that manner.
Sophomore Sean McDonagh felt as though, “I think that having a new safety app will be good for Fairfield, but it definitely should be more user-friendly than Emergensee, for sure.”
One of the returning features to the app would be the escort service; however, there is a notable improvement to the service that Emergensee was unable to offer, which is the ability for friends or family to track your journey if you are traveling, for instance, from your dorm to the Dimenna-Nyselius Library or from campus to home over break.
Ritchie, when emphasizing this comprehensive new feature, said that, “The big thing that we really enjoy about it is that it has this ‘safety walk’ feature, so what you can do is, if you’re walking back from the library to the townhouses for example, you can actually just hit the walk button and can have a friend keep an eye on you. You can ask friends to watch you walk.”
In order to track someone via this new feature, one does not even need to have the app installed since they would simply receive a message saying that the person who pressed the walk button is traveling from point A to point B.
One of the problems that students had with EmergenSee, Ritchie noted, was that, “the old system we had was only public safety watching you walk, so you would have to tell public safety your location. We know students were uncomfortable with that, but we cannot see your location unless you hit the button. If you are calling 911 or DPS, we will get your location and that helps us know where you are at in the event of an emergency, so we prefer people to allow the app to see your location.”
First-year student TaylorAnn Jacobs, felt that, “I think the app is a good idea overall. I follow the rule to always travel with a buddy at night and sometimes people want to leave a party at different times, so the feature that you can track them is a cool idea.”
Jacobs also added that, “it gives you peace of mind to know where your friends are, so you don’t have to travel together necessarily.”
As of the week of Jan. 29, DPS staff are currently testing the app and demoing it in order to get comfortable with the new software and its new interface.
Ritchie felt as though, “One of our biggest fears is that, it’s new technology, a new software package for our office, so we don’t just want to buy it, turn it on, and say ‘have at it.’”
The official release for the app will also include an iPad giveaway, according to Ritchie, that all students who sign up for the app will automatically be entered in for a chance to win.