New app puts safety at your fingertips

Jeanette Perry

Houston Pokorny, theater senior checks out the new MSU Safety app on his phone. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Houston Pokorny, theater senior checks out the new MSU Safety app on his phone. Photo by Jeanette Perry.

After the producers of an older version of the MSU Safety app began charging for what university officials believed were free services, police officials released a new app- one that is completely free. 

“ The one that we had in place at the time may have been a pretty good app at the time, but it had gotten to where we weren’t sure of its utility or how often it was really being used,” Coggins said. “So as the years go by, there are advancements in all of technology, and we wanted to take a fresh look at what was out there on the market. That’s what prompted me to further develop ours.”

The new app features a Mobile Blue Light option that gives students the ability to send their GPS location as well as talk to an officer in real time if they need help. It also has an alarm that makes a loud noise and flashes a light. One of the other features, Friend Walk — it allows a user to video chat a friend while walking home. The app also allows users to report crime tips and view a real-time crime map.

Coggins said the best part of the app is that the university is picking up the cost.

“I like that the university is picking up the cost of this app so that the individual users will no longer have to. It doesn’t require the user to go out there and pay any type of annual fee in order to use,” Coggins said. “If you’re an MSU student, whether you have an Android or an iPhone, you can download the app with no direct cost.”  

Mauricelle Lewis, biology senior, had never heard of this new app. Once she was told about the features, she downloaded it immediately.

“It will help in terms of personal safety. Not completely, but still,” Lewis said.

Katie Alfred, mass communication freshman, agreed with Lewis.

“It gives the students an alternative to walking alone,” Alfred said.

Callie Perry, social work senior, said her two favorite features are the Mobile Blue Light and the alarm.

“It makes me feel safer. If you’re walking out at Sikes Lake and you can’t get to the call box, it’s nice to have the app on your phone. If the police can’t get to you right away, the alarm might scare someone off,” Perry said. “I also like the crime map button because you can look at what crime and what types of crimes are happening around you. It makes you more prepared.”