Enhancing College Safety with the Safe APU App

by Stephanie Thurrott

At Azusa Pacific University, college safety has always been a priority. The Department of Campus Safety patrols the campus on bicycles, runs a late-night shuttle service, and escorts students to campus residential areas when requested.

APU also recently launched the new Safe APU mobile app, which helps to promote a safe community environment and gives students access to important safety features and information.

Connecting with the Community

“The Safe APU app helps us better connect with students, faculty, and staff,” said Richard Orr, corporal for the Department of Campus Safety. “By simply opening up the Safe APU app, our APU community can have access to valuable safety resources and connect with Campus Safety quickly. The Safe APU app is just one of the ways Campus Safety is creating new connections and relationships with the APU community.”

Executive director Paul Dennis spearheaded the app’s launch. When he joined APU two years ago, he wanted to create better communication and relationships between Campus Safety and the APU community.

Dennis and his team researched college safety apps and chose an app developer that has strong partnerships with other universities, like the University of California, Los Angeles and New York University. “They have continued to improve, based on feedback from those universities,” Orr said. “They were also able to customize Safe APU to help serve our unique community more effectively.”

What the App Can Do

“We want to utilize technology in whatever way we can,” Orr said. The Safe APU app includes a range of college safety features, including:

  • Safety notifications: Receive notifications from the Department of Campus Safety to stay updated and safe on campus. (Note: All emergency notifications will still be communicated through Everbridge.)
  • Emergency contacts: Know who to contact if there’s an emergency on campus.
  • Mobile Bluelight (Azusa campus only): This is a mobile version of the blue lights already installed on campus—you can send your real-time location to Campus Safety to notify them of an emergency location.
  • Friend walk: Send your location to a friend through email or SMS. Once your friend accepts your request, they can track your location to ensure you make it safely to your destination.
  • Tip reporting: Report a safety or security concern.
  • Safety toolbox: Access resources and information provided by Campus Safety.
  • I’m OK!: Send your location and a message that you’re okay to a friend or family member.
  • Campus map: Navigate the APU campus.
  • Crime map (Azusa campus only): See where recent crimes have been reported on or near campus.
  • Emergency plans: Prepare for disasters or emergencies, even if you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data.
  • Parking (Azusa campus only): Access information regarding parking and vehicle and bicycle registration.

“If the APU community is prepared for an emergency or is aware of crime trends (such as viewing our crime map), we can better serve them and create a partnership that helps to keep them safe,” Orr said.

Who Can Use the Safe APU App?

The app is available to all people with an APU email address. Friends and family members can get updates with the “friend walk” or “I’m OK!” functions.

Some of the app’s features—such as Mobile Bluelight and the crime map—are only available at APU’s main campus in Azusa. At the regional campuses, the features are curated to show what’s available.

“We want every student, faculty, and staff user to feel connected,” Orr said. “The app is a tool for students to stay connected with Campus Safety 24/7 in the most convenient way possible.”

Would you like to learn more about the safety initiatives at Azusa Pacific University? Explore the Department of Campus Safety to read up on its services as well as crime prevention tips.