New Safety App For SU Students, Faculty - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Safety App For SU Students, Faculty

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SALISBURY, Md. - Salisbury University students and faculty now have an added layer of security at their fingertips. The school launched a new safety app, enabling users to quickly reach out for help.

The 911 Shield App was launched last week by Salisbury University Police as a way for students and faculty to contact police using their smart phones. The app provides the caller's location when the user is on campus. In other locations, it will contact 911.
The app was a collaboration of students and faculty.
"I think it's a great measure of security that even if there isn't a problem, it's a feeling of comfort that students can have stepping onto campus, especially freshmen who are new to college life in general," said Julia Howell, President of the Student Government Association.
Although considered a safe campus, SU is not immune to crime.
There were several well-documented assaults on students near campus last month that have led to the university considering several options to improve student safety. The app had been in the works several months before those incidents.

Users can create a personal profile that campus police say can be helpful to them since it provides them with critical information about the caller.
"When they call into us, we get a lot more personal information that you normally wouldn't have on a 911 call. We get the caller's name and how they registered. You'll get their personal information and location here on campus," said Officer Chris Shockley, Salisbury University Police. 
The app, developed by 911 Cellular, has features other than for emergencies, including Friend Watch, which allows students users to designate friends who will receive notifications if the caller fails to check in.
"Say you wanted to go for a run, and it was starting to be dusk. It would say how long you are out for, and your friend would know you are out at that time. So, it is a nice feeling to know that the safety procedure is in place," said Howell
.

Police caution the app is not a replacement for 911. If a user is in an emergency, life-saving situation, they should still call 911. 

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