New app promotes safety on Lakehead University campuses

Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont. is going digital when it comes to the safety of its students, staff and faculty.

Lakehead University launches app to help students, faculty and staff be safe on campus

Lakehead University has launched a new phone app aimed at improving campus safety. (supplied)

Lakehead University is going digital when it comes to the safety of its students, staff and faculty.

The Thunder Bay, Ont., university has launched the Lakehead University Mobile Safety app, which provides users with quick access to security, as well as information about things happening on campus.

"It's got a couple of key features that we're pretty happy with," said Lorne Clifford, Lakehead's director of security. "Some of the things that people tend to get concerned with while they're at university is working alone, or walking alone on the campus."

"The first program that we offer is a keep in touch program," Clifford said. "It's not a new program. What we used to do is we'd have anyone that was working on campus after hours, or on the weekend or on a holiday ... they would call us, and just let us know where they're working, and how long they'd be there and if they were leaving. And if they needed a walk to a car or to another building or what have you, then we'd provide that service."

Now, Clifford said, they can keep in touch with campus security through the app.

App provides campus information

The app — which was developed by Canadian firm AppArmor and incorporates some tweaks requested by Lakehead — also includes things like a flashlight, an alarm, information about campus services, and the ability for the university to send alerts.

User numbers weren't available, but Clifford said the school has been speaking about the app during student orientation sessions.

"We're always concerned about embracing all opportunities to provide a higher level of security," he said. "We're pleased with the results."

The free app is available now for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices.