Campus police at the University of Nevada, Reno, has released a mobile app that puts both campus information and personal safety tools into one digital package. SafePack is the newest way Police Services and administration at UNR are helping students stay safe on campus.
Unlike some other safety apps that cater to several different universities across the nation, SafePack’s network is specific to UNR. The app is also free to use, unlike safety apps like BlueLight which charges monthly subscription fees after a 30-day trial period. Campus Police Commander Todd Renwick says UNRPD is simply providing another resource focused on student safety.
“We came up with some funds in our budget,” Renwick said. “With some support from the university we got it developed and implemented. Our idea going into this was that it has to be free of charge for our community.”
The app provides a number of services including Safe Ride, a function that provides contact information and other resources involving transportation on and around campus as well as a detailed listing of campus emergency plans.
One of Renwick’s favorite features is the safety toolbox, which holds a flashlight, alarm and personal safety widgets. The app has placed each of those things at a person’s fingertips, according to him, but Renwick likes that the toolbox contains a command that can send a person’s location to friends as well as UNRPD.
“That’s a pretty cool feature for imminent safety,” Renwick said. “It sends your location to us and it also calls us and keeps an open line. If something were to be happening we would know your location and could also hear everything that’s happening at the same time.”
Renwick brought particular focus to another tool that he hopes will draw more attention to the university’s special emergency plans. Renwick said the app gives you a constant reminder on what to do and how to behave in those situations.
“Right at your fingertips you can see plans for a bomb threat, a building evacuation, even a criminal or critical incident, which is something most people don’t ever think about or don’t really spend time to go explore or learn,” Renwick said.
Earlier this year, results from a sexual assault survey conducted last fall revealed that around 80 percent of students believe the campus is safe. Renwick said that the statistics show that most universities are generally free of danger, but for him, the SafePack app is just another reliable option for students to take advantage of at UNR.
SafePack can be downloaded from app stores on both iOS and Android devices.
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