VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota launched a new, free mobile safety app for students.
The USD Safe app, created by AppArmor, works both on- and off-campus. It serves as a virtual escort to students, providing real-time location information to emergency contacts and the University Police Department (UPD).
“USD Safe quickly connects students with University Police and campus safety plans from the palm of their hands,” said John Howe, associate dean of students. “It is truly a mobile ‘blue light’ that many are familiar with on college campus – only more convenient.”
Students can choose emergency contacts from family members, friends, UPD and the Vermillion Police Department. Based on their location, emergency phone numbers or other app behavior can be modified.
Dispatchers at UPD will have access to a cloud-based dashboard where they can monitor requests, view a real-time map and have the availability to chat. They can also send push alerts or notifications to app users.
The app has several safety features, including a report a tip function where users can identify themselves or remain anonymous.
“Part of our message to members of our community is to maintain campus safety through good bystander behavior. USD Safe provides community members a means to report instances to the University Police through the app and facilitate good bystander behaviors,” Howe said.
The app will be free to all students. For more information, visit the website.