After the UCCS Safe app was presented at this semester’s first SGA meeting on Aug. 24, the app was formally released on Sept. 15 for students to download.
The public safety department is hoping to see a large portion of the UCCS community download the app. Kristopher Parsons, UCCS’ Fire Marshal, said that the RAVE Guardian app gained approximately 1,000 downloads over the span of five years.
UCCS chief of police Dewayne McCarver said that just under 500 users have downloaded the app since its release, which is already almost half of the votes the RAVE Guardian app received in a shorter span of time.
According to the app, UCCS Safe was developed by the UCCS Police under a mandate to develop programs, services and informational resources that promote and address student safety.
McCarver said that the app comes from the same company, AppArmor, and it still has all of the features from the older version of the app.
Students can still contact the state and campus police, report incidents, request safety walks and access a map of the campus through the app. McCarver said the biggest addition to the app now centralizes information to make it easier to access resources and services.
“We were having to give different pieces of information for everything. It was just not efficient or effective, really. People would misplace stuff. It was just hard to do, so now if you have this app … basically, you have all of it right at your fingertips,” McCarver said.
Other changes that McCarver noted was students can now take part in safety trainings, make anonymous reports, locate resources on campus and view notifications as well as in-depth resources on safety topics from the UCCS police.
The app also provides detailed information on narcan, AEDs and the health and safety services in addition to forms that take you to the websites for the Wellness Center, OIE, the Care Team and the Dean of Students.
Parsons said that RAVE Guardian was $5,250/year out of the Department of Public Safety’s budget, and McCarver noted that the updated app costed $9,000.
Both McCarver and Parsons hope the use of promotional videos posted on social media along with flyers posted around campus for UCCS Safe will bring more awareness to the app and prompt students to download it.
Parsons is encouraging students to come to the public safety department with any questions or recommendations for the app.
“We’re trying very hard to bridge that gap — to be more accessible, to be more transparent, to be more reachable … so I just can’t stress enough that if they ever see something or don’t feel comfortable about something just to reach out; that’s what we’re here for.” Parsons said.
Students can download the UCCS SAFE App in the Google and Apple app stores.
The UCCS Safe app sends users important safety alerts and provides instant access to campus safety resources. Photo by Meghan Germain.