‘Bowdoin SAFE’: Bowdoin Security Launches New Safety App
There’s no denying that Bowdoin is a safe campus, located in a safe town in one of the safest states in the country, said Tim Hanson. “But bad things can happen anywhere, and it’s our job to make sure people are prepared,” he added.
Hanson is Associate Director of Safety and Security at the College, which has unveiled a new app to enhance campus security and make it easier to reach students in an emergency.
The product is aimed at students but can be used by anyone with a Bowdoin login.
“This app has a dual function. Firstly, of course, it helps users by making them feel safe and enabling them to report suspicious activity, but it also makes it easier for us to send out notifications to the campus community. This will be in addition to the emails and texts that people already receive. It may sound like overkill,” said Hanson, “but in emergency situations it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
The Office of Safety and Security strongly encourages all students to download the app, called Bowdoin SAFE, as soon as they can. “It’s a very intuitive product and easily navigable. When you open it, you’re presented with various options,” explained Hanson.
’For emergency situations there’s the ‘Mobile Blue Light’ feature, which puts the user straight through to security, and provided you activate your locator, we will know exactly where you are. The app also provides immediate access to counseling services.”
Another option enables users to report (anonymously, if they want) any suspected crime or suspicious activity, including sexual assault, hazing, or bias incidents.
Users can also request a shuttle ride back to campus through the app. “Free shuttle rides are available for students up until 1 a.m., but if you’re out beyond this, or you’d just rather walk home, you can activate the ‘Virtual Walk Home’ function. It alerts security staff you are on the move and in the unlikely event of someone following you or if you witness a crime, you can alert us so we’ll know where you are and can respond accordingly. When you reach your destination, we simply close out your ticket,” said Hanson.
A similar function, called ‘Friend Walk,’ offers the same sort of service, but instead of a security officer, the user alerts a friend of their movements.
“The ‘Bowdoin SAFE’ app helps connect every member of our community in a common cause—keeping Bowdoin safe,” said Executive Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols.
“Never hesitate to call Safety and Security when you or someone else needs help, or when you sense something is wrong. Rely on your intuition, and act.”