BCIT has rolled out a new app that will allow campus security to interact directly with students in case of emergency, or for safe walk purposes.
The “Safety Wise” app is has been downloaded by over twenty-seven hundred users so far, according to Adrian Hingston, Assistant Director of Safety and Security at the school. The technology also gives access to an anonymous tip line, and is welcome to be used by other members of the community who aren’t BCIT students.
“It allows us to communicate with students in an active and a passive way, but it also allows students to contact us in emergency and non-emergency situations.”
Is this something that UBC is considering?
Barry Eccelton with UBC security says it’s definitely on the school’s radar.
“Yeah we certainly are, there’s a campus safety working group who are tasked with looking at various initiatives for the campus and the safety apps is one of the items which is on the list.”
Various assaults and attacks on UBC campus have been an ongoing issue prompting some groups to ask for enhanced security in the area.
Adrian Hingston, BCIT’s assistant director of safety and security, says the app also offers a particularly important function: push notifications.
“We’re looking for the most transparent, quick way to communicate with our community and we can push notifications to them in any kind of emergency that they need to be aware of.”
UBC Okanagan already uses a similar app called UBC Safe.
BCIT was criticized earlier this year for not informing students of a peeping tom incident on campus until the suspect was charged four months later.
The app also comes at a pressing time for Burnaby residents, after three alleged sexual assaults were reported in the first week of September alone.
BCIT is not the first post-secondary institution to utilize “Safety Wise,” and Hingston says it’s growing in popularity as more people find out about it.