Does the new campus safety app keep students safer?

Screenshot of the PLU Knight Shield App
Screenshot of the PLU Knight Shield App

Hilary Vo

Guest Writer

vohn@plu.edu

Campus Safety announced a new safety app during the summer and it is available in the ios app store, but do Pacific Lutheran University community members feel safer with the  Knight Shield app?

“I feel comparatively safer having the app, like having it open as I’m walking home late,” junior Renee Tapia said. “But if I’m in a dangerous situation, like where I would get shot, I think it would already be too late to use the app.”

The app, which is available by downloading the “911 Shield” app and then selecting PLU, has many useful features, both emergency and non-emergency. It allows the user to input their medical information such as conditions, allergies, blood type, prescriptions, doctor and medical insurance. In case of emergency, Lutes can send their location to first responders.

Inside the app, as many as three friends can be sent a notification that allows them to track the user’s location during activities. This feature is called Friend Watch and allows users to set a timer and alert friends if the user doesn’t report they made it to their location safely.

But, some students said they don’t think the app is worth downloading.

“It’s an extra time commitment that I don’t have as things are getting busier,” Gillian Dockins, a sophomore who chose not to download the app, said. “I would have to delete stuff off my phone to make room for it.”

When asking other students, many said they had not downloaded the app and/or heard about it.

If Lutes feel unsafe and need a safety escort, there is a non-emergency feature that lets users request a Campus Safety escort.

“It is a good app though, as far as having everything you need to feel safe at PLU,” said Tapia. She said she will continue using the app.

More information is available at: http://www.plu.edu/campus-safety/plu-knight-shield-app/ 🅼

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