Police Offer New App, Host Safety Day
The Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) will dedicate a day to spending time with members of the community on Tech Walk for the department’s annual Campus Safety Day.
The event takes place Tuesday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests from around campus and the Atlanta area will also be in attendance for the event. There will be demonstrations by GTPD’s K-9 unit, and officers will be on hand with many of the resources and equipment they use daily in their work. A simulator will let attendees feel the impairment and effects of driving under the influence and texting while driving.
“Community policing is one of our top priorities, and this event is a great way for our officers to talk with members of the community about their safety concerns,” said Chief Robert Connolly.
In the meantime, Tech police have been at work continuing to add new resources to help the campus community stay safe.
During the past year, GTPD worked with the Student Government Association (SGA) to implement the use of a new safety app. The app, LiveSafe, is available for iPhone and Android phones and provides a quick and convenient way to communicate with campus police. The free app includes an anonymous mechanism for sharing crime tips, including text, photo, and video. Users can also elect to receive alerts and notifications from GTPD through the app and to share their location with selected friends or family members when they are on the go.
Students and police met with several companies to explore various app options. After months of research, LiveSafe came out on top.
"After meeting with every company, we decided we wanted to go with the LiveSafe app because of its simplicity and ease of use, as well as the continual third-party development that would be offered by LiveSafe," said Jefferson Losse, vice president for the undergraduate SGA who was on the group's Campus Safety App Development Committee.
Randy Barrone, GTPD captain, noted how different the app is from one offered previously.
“It’s much quicker to get started using it,” he said. “You just download it, put in your name and email, and confirm your email address.”
The app has numerous other features and also centralizes campus resource information, making it easy for those with questions about a wide range of issues to get the help they need.
“It gives you a quick way to contact us, even anonymously, and it puts everything in one place,” Barrone said.
For students who want to report something but are nervous to contact police, Losse also emphasized the anonymity of the app.
"If you don't want your information identified, you don't have to give it out until it you want to when the situation becomes an emergency," he said. "With the addition of campus maps and other resources, it becomes an app you can use day-to-day rather than only in emergencies."
Other local universities and entities use LiveSafe, so users can switch communities in the app. For example, if you attended a Hawks game, you could switch your organization to Philips Arena and see safety information for that facility while attending the event.
Students, faculty, and staff can download the free app from the App Store or Google Play, then sign up with their Georgia Tech email address and search for “Georgia Tech,” once logged in, to connect with GTPD.