New app expands UC campus safety

(FOX19) - The University of Cincinnati is making it easier, and faster, to report safety issues.  It's all thanks to a new app they've made available to students called LiveSafe.

The idea of "see something, say something" is the theme with this app. Campus officials want students to be able to get in touch with UC Police when they need them, and have public safety officials get in touch with students when they need to know something.

"I'm curious to see what the university does with it," said Matthew Goldenberg, a third-year student who has already downloaded the app.

Goldenberg works with prospective students visiting campus.  The top questions he gets are always about safety around campus.

"To stay on top of the general safety issues in Clifton, from the public's perspective, we definitely need to make sure that we have this tool available to us, especially as other schools also get on board," said Goldenberg.

Another student, Ben Keel along with his roommates, had their house broken into last semester.

"When I got home that evening, some of our items were missing," said Keel, a second-year student.

The app could have helped him report the situation quicker.  It lets users send information, with an exact location, to police.  It also allows school safety officials to send out safety updates and tips faster, which would have helped Keel as he left a party one night.

"There had been a robbery on my way back, the same path that I had taken back to my house.  Knowing that immediately, I would have been able to take  a different route," Keel said.

With the app, you can also shoot video and snap pictures and send those to authorities along with a description of the situation at hand.  That is a welcomed idea for at least one student who can point to a scenario just a few days ago where having the app would have really come in handy.

"Me and my friends were getting off the bus just over by West Clifton, and some kids were yelling across the was at night, and they were just, like, 'Don't do it to them!  Don't do it do them,'" said Katey Kelley, another UC student.

Kelly says students were later notified of a robbery.

"Maybe we could have taken a picture and alerted the police quicker," she said.

You can report both non-emergencies and emergency situations using this app.

The app is available for Apple or Android devices.  To download, search for "LiveSafe" in your app store. Once downloaded, you will be asked to create a profile, and select your location.

The app also has dozens of other schools and locations in addition to the University of Cincinnati. You can change your location at any time once you've downloaded the app. It is free to download.

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