Through a mobile safety app called Safe?Zone?(iOS, Android, Windows), stu?dents, fac?ulty, and staff can now con?nect directly with the North?eastern Uni?ver?sity Police Depart?ment to imme?di?ately report emer?gen?cies, request med?ical assis?tance, or simply stay in touch during late-hour work assignments.
With the touch of a button, users can instantly get in touch with NUPD to report the nature of the emer?gency and the loca?tion. From the main screen, users must only press one of three tabs?First Aid, Help, or Emer?gency. All the alerts go directly to NUPD, and dis?patchers are imme?di?ately noti?fied and shown the user?s loca?tion on a campus map. Also from the main screen, users can ?check-in? at any time to share their loca?tions with NUPD?if, say, they are on campus late at night or are working alone in a lab or?office.
The app is part of the university?s com?pre?hen?sive efforts to main?tain a resilient and safe campus envi?ron?ment for stu?dents, fac?ulty, and staff. ?We believe that Safe?Zone adds a layer con?nec?tivity between the NU com?mu?nity and the police depart?ment,? said North?eastern Uni?ver?sity Chief of Police Michael Davis. ?With this appli?ca?tion, people in need can con?nect directly with the closest avail?able police resource.?
NUPD said that within the first four hours of launching the ser?vice on Tuesday, more than 500 people reg?is?tered to use the app. During that time, NUPD was also alerted via Safe?Zone to a med?ical emer?gency near Snell Library, ?allowing respon?ders to quickly iden?tify the sit?u?a?tion and loca?tion,? said Todd Kaplan, North?eastern Uni?ver?sity emer?gency?manager.
NUPD has launched a Safe?Zone web?site with more infor?ma?tion, fre?quently asked ques?tions, and a video explaining the app and how to use?it.
In a mes?sage to the uni?ver?sity com?mu?nity on Tuesday after?noon, NUPD under?scored that users? pri?vacy is a pri?ority and that Safe?Zone does not track a user?s loca?tion until an alert is sent. When the First Aid, Help, Emer?gency, or Check-in but?tons are pressed, the app only shares the user?s loca?tion and con?tact infor?ma?tion with on-duty NUPD per?sonnel. Users can cancel an alert or check out at any time if they press the tab by acci?dent or they no longer need assis?tance. NUPD also checks users out of the app once they leave?campus.
If users are off campus, the app pro?vides an easy one-touch button to dial local emer?gency services.
Through the app, users can also receive noti?fi?ca?tions and spe?cific safety infor?ma?tion based on where they are located within the city of?Boston.