The pilot for an app that pushes for university safety launched Monday and will allow students, faculty and staff members to be safer in Athens.

Bobcat Safe is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. It has over 50 features, including emergency resources, location services, crime reporting and push notifications for the campus, according to a university press release.

The app has a “friend walk” feature that sends the user’s location to a friend, so they can view the user’s location while they are walking home. If the user is in need, they can hit a button to send their friend an emergency call, according to the app.

Users can call 911 and the Ohio University Police Department through the app as well as start an emergency chat with OUPD.

“I thought it was an excellent idea since cell phones have become ubiquitous, and we do not see the standing ‘blue light’ phones getting used as they were intended,” OUPD Chief Andrew Powers said in the press release.

Bobcat Safe will send push notifications to users about any information that the university wants to inform students.

The app also allows students to access campus maps, the Survivor Advocacy Program and OU transportation services like CATS Late Night Shuttles.

“Bobcat Safe will be a great tool for students on the Athens campus to feel safer and more informed about campus resources,” Alicia Lundy-Morse, vice president of Student Senate, said.

Students were asked in the fall of 2018 what app would best fit their needs. AppArmor is the safety app that is branded specifically for OU.

The pilot is being held only on the Athens campus during the 2019-2020 academic year, but the university will look to expand it to regional campuses after the pilot ends.

AppArmor has also made apps for University of Florida, Midwestern State University of Texas and several other schools, according to the company’s website.

@ianmck9

im581017@ohio.edu

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