Story by Alicia Steele, Staff writer
Since the activation of the LiveSafe app in August, Public Safety and Emergency Management has received more than 700 tips from the app, but only 14 call box activations since the beginning of the academic year.
Roy Dunaway, interim police chief and director of emergency management, wrote in an email that the tips received through the LiveSafe app included alerts about suspicious activities and assaults.
“I would encourage the university community to download this safety app,” Dunaway wrote.
Dunaway wrote that while the LiveSafe app users can instantly chat with Murray State Police in a live session, users can also allow Murray State Police or a friend to track them via GPS and get access to Murray State maps, emergency procedures and call box locations.
However, the call boxes are not as frequently used.
Dunaway wrote that 39 emergency call boxes are located around campus, but public safety has only gotten 14 notifications through those phones this academic year. The call boxes were used five times between Jan. 20 and Feb. 23, all of which were unfounded, according to crime logs from Public Safety.
“These activations have ranged from accidental activations to students in need of medical attention,” Dunaway wrote.
He wrote that upon activation of an emergency call box, the caller is immediately in contact with Murray State Police.
Students say they prefer to use the app over the call boxes on campus.
“I am a very private person, and the call box is very public and open,” said Selena McCord, junior from Puryear, Tennessee.
McCord said she has used the LiveSafe app twice, but never the emergency call boxes.
She said the first time she used the app, Public Safety responded quickly and she was very happy with the experience.
However, the second time McCord used the app, she said she had reported that a preacher on campus was “harassing students and making the environment unsafe.” She said they again responded quickly but told her there was nothing they could do.
“I would have loved to have been given more information about who I could contact about the situation,” McCord said. “Or maybe even some information to the counseling center, as some of his statements were very derogatory towards women and those of the LGBTQ community.”
Taylor Fischer, who graduated from Murray State in December, said she used the LiveSafe app last semester and they were quick to respond.
However, Fischer said her situation did not occur on campus, so Public Safety notified the Murray Police Department and kept watch for the person she had described to them.
“I would definitely recommend this to other students because it made me feel like I knew that I was being taken care of and cared for,” Fischer said.