UNL to test new safety app on campus - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

UNL to test new safety app on campus

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By: Jenn Schanz

UNL wants to take campus safety up a notch.

They might swap those familiar blue emergency boxes for something more mobile, the LifeLine Response app.

You download it to your smart phone; as long as the app is running, emergency responders have access to your GPS location.

When you're walking home alone, or feel unsafe, all you need to do is put your finger on the app. The moment you take it off, or your phone drops, an alarm sounds and the company called LifeLine Response is notified.

"If you're being attacked, your natural response is your going to drop [your phone], your fingers are going to drop off the application," says CEO and founder of LifeLine Response, Peter Cahill.

When you sign up, you fill out a basic profile, select a disarm code, and choose lifelines--the people who will be notified in the event you're in trouble.

Some students like the idea of having a security guard built into their phone.

"A lot of students are on their phone, you know when they're walking to class or something they're always texting. And they don't notice these things like me, so it would be a lot better," says sophomore Aaron Curry, pointing to a blue emergency box.

Others say given Lincoln's generally low–crime rate, the blue boxes will do.

"I feel like Lincoln's pretty safe, so I don't see people using it usually but I feel like it's noticeable that if someone did need to use it they could use it," says junior Hannah Bourne.

LifeLine Response says it has saved four people from being assaulted since it launch last year.

Cahill says he's confident the app will make people feel safer, and deter crime on campus.

"We supply the information back to the university. 'This is where your students are using the app, this is where they feel unsafe," he says.

The app is going to be tested for one year by a group of around 200 students to see if it's a right fit for UNL. The university will then decide if it will replace the blue boxes.

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