Photo by David Raji

A student committee organized by the Student Government Association (SGA) made the decision to select “LiveSafe” as Tech’s new safety application.

“We looked through a few different applications, and I would say some major deciding factors were the ability for students to use the app easily and conveniently, communication with GTPD, and incorporating additional safety features,” said Jennifer Abrams, Student Body President of undergraduate SGA at Tech. “LiveSafe makes it possible for students to communicate more easily through a messaging feature, so now students can still call GTPD with the touch of a button, but they can also communicate or send tips to GTPD with a text message.”

The committee to select the new app was formed amid concerns by SGA that “Rave Guardian,” the previous safety app, was not being used by a majority of students. This committee heard pitches from two prospective companies for their apps, which were LiveSafe and “Thumb Alert,” and made the decision afterwards, following discussion and consideration of many factors.

According to Roxanne Trust, an Engagement Partner at LiveSafe Mobile, the app has grown rapidly due to increased demand for safety by various organizations. Among LiveSafe’s clients are the United States Coast Guard as well as the Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons. However, the app was originally designed for use at institutions of higher education.

“We really aim to make this a very student-centric app,” Trust said. “It is comprehensive; there aren’t five apps, [you do not need to] pick and choose all the different important features, everything is here.”

LiveSafe’s home screen hosts four options for action, one of the most important of which, according to Trust, allows for the submission of an informational tip to GTPD officers. A wide variety of choices are available depending on the specific details of the tip you wish to report, and photos, videos or audio may also be submitted. Any tip may be sent anonymously if desired, according to Trust.

“When you send a tip, it will immediately go to a dashboard which is monitored by police here 24 hours a day,” Trust said.

Police will also be able to view the location from which the tip was sent, and the app will allow for live chat between the officer and the user as well.

“This [tip feature] fills in the gap between calling 911, and not calling at all,” Trust said.

The app also features options for students in emergency situations. A student may utilize LiveSafe in this manner for either placing a call to a 911 line, calling GTPD, or messaging GTPD. Any of these three selections will initiate location sharing with the relevant party, meaning that a dynamic marker will be available indicating your location to either the 911 operator or GTPD.

“Suppose that I am running away from somebody or some disaster behind me — on the dashboard, [GTPD] will be able to see my trail as well as the direction I am headed towards,” Trust said. “This will help them respond to [the emergency] much more efficiently.”

The student committee was also enthusiastic about LiveSafe’s “walking home” feature. According to Abrams, the new app improves upon this functionality, which was present in some form in Rave Guardian.

“Their feature for students walking home allows one person to indicate to a friend that they are walking home and their friend will be able to see their location all the way until they get home,” Abrams said. “Another benefit is that if you don’t have the LiveSafe app when someone invites you, you can download it write when someone invites you to walk home with them.”

LiveSafe will be implemented and available for all Tech faculty, staff and students on Sept. 1.