SLU police introduce new app to keep students safe


Symiah Dorsey

Announcements from the UPD will be on the front page of Lion Safe, creating another line of communication between UPD and students.

With the Fall 2022 semester around the corner, SLU’s University Police Department has released a new app that will allow students to feel safer on campus.

Called Lion Safe, the app has multiple features that the UPD responds to directly, including news headlines, emergency plans, interactive maps of SLU campus and more.

The app has been in development for the past two years under Police Chief Michael Beckner. After two years of progress and testing, the UPD said it is ready to send out to the students of SLU.

“We’ve seen apps like this used on other campuses, and we find that it can be very useful since everyone has their phones in their hands anyways. With the app it helps make things much more available to any student who needs assistance,” Beckner said.

According to Beckner, the app’s most important attributes are mobile BlueLight, friend walk and emergency contacts. 

Mobile BlueLight acts as an alternative to the BlueLight stations around campus. When a student activates mobile BlueLight on their phone, a UPD officer begins to track the student’s location to ensure they reach their desired destination safely. With the BlueLight, police officers can make sure students are safe in real-time. 

“While the BlueLight posts around campus are great, sometimes students don’t want to hang around posts waiting for a police officer to show up and take them where they need to go. With the Mobile BlueLight, they can still feel safe and get to where they need to be,” Beckner said.

If a police officer supervising is not preferred, students can choose friend walk as their preferred option of safety. Friend walk allows students to reach out to another friend in their contacts list so they can monitor you on your route.

“Send your location in real-time to a friend so they can watch you as you walk to your destination! They’ll watch you and can trigger a call to emergency services if necessary,” the Lion Safe app stated.

The UPD app Lion Safe is available to all students as an alternative to calling the UPD. Several key features are available 24/7 to students on campus.

Emergency calls can also be made if needed with an emergency contacts page with lines to 911, the UPDs emergency line and the UPDs non-emergency line.

Other key items include reporting crime tips to the police, campus and transit maps, emergency plans and links to other resources. The Emergency plans section is filled with plans on what to do in certain crisis situations around school. Some plans included in the app are active shooters, bomb threats, medical emergencies and weather emergencies.

The UPD also wanted to emphasize that the app will not collect any information from your phone aside from your location when you use the app for mobile BlueLight and friend walk.

“The app is all about being interactive with the students on campus. We hope that this can make things easier for everyone involved,” Beckner said.

The Lion Safe app is available to download both on IOS and the Android App Store. The UPD recommends all students to download the app for easier access to UPD resources.

To hear more about the app and future UPD information, follow the UPD on their Tiktok @southeasternupd for more information.