New app “Safe Zone” increases security for West Texas A&M students and staff

Local News

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — A free, new security app aims to increase safety for students, staff and faculty at West Texas A&M.

“It’s always great to have another tool in the toolbox,” said Patrol Sgt. Justin McBride, West Texas A&M University Police Department.

That new tool for McBride and the rest of the West Texas A&M University Police Department is the app “Safe Zone.”

“As part of keeping our campus community safe, we have enlisted in the assistance of the “Safe Zone” app that anyone can download on their phone that’s a student, faculty or staff here at WT. It gives you instant communication with the police department for any emergency situation, first aid,” said Assistant Chief of Police Robert Byrd, West Texas A&M University Police Department.

It’s easy to download too, just start out by going to either safezoneapp.com or by searching “safe zone” in the app store.

“As soon as you open the app, the splash screen has three buttons. There’s a first aid button, call UPD and an emergency button. Each one of these three buttons will issue a notification to our dispatch center. Every officer on shift will get this notification as well. So we have two different layers of our staff getting notifications. So that goes off, we get that exact location of that student,” said McBride.

“This gives them an instantaneous, at the push of the button, able to contact our department for whatever the reason may be and we can respond in a manner of much more quickly,” said Chief Byrd.

This applies to emergency or non-emergency situations, like the check-in feature.

“You set a timer for however long it’ll take you to walk to your destination. So that timer will start. Once the timer is up, if you haven’t checked back in, that will send a notification to our dispatch center and all of our officers on shift that let us know that you didn’t make it to your destination or that you’re overdue for your location,” said McBride.

In addition to this, West Texas A&M has also recently been named one of the safest college campuses in the country and one of the safest ones in Texas, according to independent surveys.

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