New campus safety app debuts at University of Kentucky

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - UK has blue emergency call towers spread out across the campus to connect students with police if they need help. Now, students can also use the LiveSafe app on their smartphones whether they are on or off campus.

Student Government Association president Jake Ingram said the biggest concern he hears from students is off-campus safety. He said the LiveSafe app will have a big impact.

"The university's done a lot to improve on campus safety and our survey data shows students feel significantly safer on campus and that's a great step forward. Here were able to take some of those same safety environment tools and put them in the pockets of students everywhere," Ingram said.

The app connects users with the UK Police department instantly. They can call for help, report tips including pictures, video, or audio, or can have someone else monitor their location from app while walking.

"It's essentially a virtual buddy system. As kids your parents might say don't go anywhere unless you have your little brother with you, or always in twos. This is a way to do that but virtually," Ingram said.

Students can also chat with UK police from within the app and police can send out alerts.

"Students are already sending in tips. We can't really say details of what those tips have been but we know that they're being used already," Ingram said.

Ingram said about 1,000 people on campus have downloaded LiveSafe since it became available at UK a couple of weeks ago.