The University of Waterloo launched WatSAFE, an emergency safety and security app. WatSAFE is created by App Armor, a company who creates security apps for many universities in North America.
WatSAFE is accessible to all students; it features up-to-date alerts about campus and the surrounding area, as well as other beneficial security features to improve campus security.
Recently, the University of Waterloo has been encouraging more students to download this application.
During an Interview with Director of Campus Police Dave Gerensce, and Director of Safety Kate Windsor, they clarified why it is so important for students to download this app.
Kate Windsor expressed how the app is like a toolbox for students to receive up-to-date notifications, general and specific safety alerts, as well as to make it easier for students to contact police services. “This just puts those specific resources that are more important to students into something that you can really quickly pick up information that’s relevant,” Windsor explained. “The biggest bonus for us is being able send the text messages really quickly, but what we’re trying to do is build it as more of a resource, particularly for students.”
The more students who are aware that this app exists, the faster students will be able to benefit from the features that the application offers. “We’ve been trying to utilize it as best as we can. It seemed like a good app at the time we brought it in; it has a lot of functionality,” Gerensce explained. “We’re trying to make sure that whatever apps we put on there are going to be used by people.”
Some of the features the app includes are basic emergency preparedness information, emergency contacts, safety tips, sexual assault, crisis center information, and much more.
WatSAFE is consistently updated, and new features are currently in the works one of which includes location services; this feature can make it easier to contact local police based on the area you are in.
Students are encouraged to download this safety too,l which can be downloaded on Android, iPhone, and Blackberry. The WatSafe website is also accessible to students who do not have smartphones.