In collaboration with AppArmor, the University of Chicago’s Department of Safety and Security recently launched the free app UChicago Safe. The application provides information for emergencies and links to safety resources.
This is part of the University’s new “opt-in” security alert system, which Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Eric Heath announced last spring during a meeting with the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) and the Chicago Police Department (CPD). The opt-in system allows people to choose how many and what types of alerts they would like to receive, as people have previously complained about receiving too many alerts through their University e-mail account.
UChicago Safe allows users to directly call the UCPD and CPD, report crimes, and speak to the University of Chicago safety and security dispatch center. The application includes a mobile “blue light” system that sends a user’s location to the UCPD while simultaneously calling to dispatch an officer. Other features include safety notifications, which instantly notify and guide users through on-campus emergencies by sending detailed instructions and emergency plans.
When asked why UChicago Safe was developed, Executive Director of Campus Safety Michael Kwiatkowski told The Maroon, “The Department of Safety and Security wanted to provide the University of Chicago community with additional ways to contact the Department of Safety and Security and the UCPD. The popularity and interest in mobile safety applications has increased greatly in the past three years. Many universities such as Princeton and NYU have recently released mobile safety applications.”