SIUC goes high tech to help students safely walk around campus a - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIUC goes high tech to help students safely walk around campus at night

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

For college students, safety can be a concern.

On campus, some might find themselves asking, "how can I safely get from point A to point B?"

Southern Illinois University has recently taken concerns into its own hands and come up with a tech solution.

Starting in the fall, the university rolled out a new app called "SIU Safe Walk."

Using the new app, students can easily request a police escort to walk them from places like the library to their dorm.

How does it work?

Once you download the app either from the App Store or the Google Play store, you need to tap the schedule button.

Students will be asked to fill out a form with the following information: name, DAWG numbers, email, phone number and starting location.

Once you submit the form, a confirmation email will be sent from the DPS dispatcher on duty.

Then a student patroler will meet the person requesting the walk at the designated start location and time.

Download the app for Android and iOS.

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What is the goal?

SIU Police said there was a need to help students safely walk around campus at night.

The university offers Night Safety Transit, which is a courtesy service to provide a safe non-threatening means of transportation for students both on and off-campus.

Students can ride for free from an off-campus residential address to an on-campus location or visa versa.

However, SIU police say there was no safe service for campus to campus trips, which is why police developed the app.

Are there any restrictions?

The service is only offered during certain times each night.

Hours of operation:

Monday: 8:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Tuesday - Thursday: 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Friday: 8:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Saturday: 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

SIU police say the hours were developed based on availability of the student patrolers and when they see the biggest need for the service.

According to Sgt. Bates I talked with SIU police the app serves as a way to help students safely get from academic places, not the bar.

He says typically, students are not studying after 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Sgt. Bates did say if they see a need, the hours will be adjusted.

What if I don't want to meet with the officer face-to-face?

SIU police say if face-to-face interaction is not what you want, you can request an officer to be present in their patrol car in the area while you're walking at night.

Police say they receive numerous requests for this service, including staff.

Students and staff interested in requesting an officer's presence can call the non-emergency line at 618-453-3771.

SIU police say an officer might not be available right away, however, if the student is able to wait for a few minutes, an officer can meet them eventually.

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