September 09, 2016 - 4:41 PM
KAMLOOPS - Thompson Rivers University is adding a new layer to its safety program.
A new app has been launched, called TRU SAFE, to help alert students about safety and emergency situations. The app has a variety of functions to help students stay safe, says the university’s safety management associate director Stacey Jyrkkänen, and offers the university another means to reach people if there’s an on campus emergency.
“This way we’ll be able to get that information to them no matter where they happen to be,” she says. “I wanted to make it really easy for people to get safety information.”
It’s not just for emergencies; other functions include the ability to snap photos of something suspicious and send that picture directly to campus security, the ability to have a friend track your phone while walking home late at night and a quick link for dialling security or 911.
Having the ability to dial 911 inside the app is important, Jyrkkänen says, because international students may not know the number. This way, the app dials for them.
The app is similar to ones used at other universities, a growing trend as campuses look to technology to help keep students safe. Jyrkkänen got the idea from Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, which had a situation last year on campus with a potential shooter. They used an app in that situation to help keep students up to date on what was happening.
The app is controlled by the Office of Safety and Emergency Management at the school. The name is new, but it’s an expanded version of what was originally the Occupational Health and Safety Office.
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