EagleEye, Marquette University Police Department’s free safety app, has reached 1,175 downloads as of Feb. 14, MUPD Capt. Katie Berigan said.
MUPD is currently trying to spread the word about EagleEye, pushing for more students to download the app, Berigan said.
“We went live with the app the day before freshman move-in (for the fall semester) but we were afraid that if we pushed it, then that it would get lost in the noise of the new school year,” Berigan said. “We figured that now we have reached a point where people are settled in and can get comfortable with using the app.”
The app also features like emergency contacts, a mobile BlueLight which allows users to press a button and connect directly to MUPD while sending the device’s location, as well as a safety toolbox that includes information about LIMOs and sending an ‘I’m OK’ message to a contact of choosing.
“I’m particularly encouraged by the mobile BlueLight feature, which allows users to connect directly with MUPD, and the friend walk feature, which allows students to track their friends’ locations from point A to point B,” Capt. Jeff Kranz said.
The friend walk feature sends the user’s location to friends in real time, who then can track where the user is going until they have reached their destination safely.
The app also features contacts to other support resources on campus such as the Counseling Center, Medical Clinic and Campus Ministry. It includes direct access to MUPD safety alerts, emergency procedures guides and links to MUPD’s social media, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Berigan said MUPD will be making changes and adjustments to the app depending on the number of downloads, but first wants to get students comfortable with using the app.
“The app was mostly a MUPD initiative and we worked with a company (AppArmor) that helped us develop an app that worked well with us,” Berigan said. “We had a previous app, called Patrnous, but it wasn’t specifically branded for us and we couldn’t have our own features for us, so we thought this new app was a better fit.”
Berigan is currently in charge of managing the app and said MUPD is looking for ways to get students involved and keep the content fresh and interesting.
David Reddy, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and a Department of Campus Safety student employment coordinator and field supervisor, said there are many resources on the app that allow for students to quickly contact MUPD or let friends and family know about their safety.
“I think the EagleEye App offers a great set of tools for students and faculty to maximize their safety on campus,” Reddy said in an email.
Reddy said he uses the app to see the Milwaukee County Transit map in the Campus Map section, as well as an occasional call for a LIMO.
“For the students that are willing to take the time to set up features like Friend Walk or read the Emergency Procedures Guide, the EagleEye app is an all-in-one location for most of what a student would need to stay safe on campus,” Reddy said in an email. “Being able to see MUPD’s safety alerts and Twitter feed is beneficial and allows a direct connection for them to let students know about situations on campus.”
Kranz said as a police department charged with protecting the safety of students, faculty and staff, MUPD is constantly looking for new ways to add layers of security on campus.
“The new EagleEye app is the latest way we are helping do so in the event of an emergency, as well as providing helpful information about MUPD,” Kranz said.