New Smart Phone App to Increase Campus Safety

Photo of hand holding cell phone displaying new PITT SAFE app.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College launched a new smart phone application this month to further enhance campus safety.

The app, called “PITT SAFE,” provides emergency contact information and campus support resources to those who install it on their Apple and Android devices. It is free and available for download from the Apple and Google Play stores.

PCC Vice President of Administrative Services Rick Owens says the app features a COVID-19 self-assessment the college wants individuals to complete prior to coming to campus. The assessment, he said, includes a series of COVID-19-related questions and, based on user responses, creates a badge letting them know if they are safe to visit PCC or should remain off campus.

“The main purpose for creating the PITT SAFE app was the need for a self-assessment tool during the COVID-19 pandemic that would speed up entry to instructional areas and ensure individuals are continually monitoring their health,” Owens said. “Of the options we had, we selected an application that would allow us to create a one-stop shop for campus safety and security resources while also meeting our needs for helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Though PCC will be pushing out additional app features in the coming months, Owens said “Friend Walk,” another important safety feature of PITT SAFE, was available at launch. “Friend Walk,” he said, allows users to inform contacts of their current location and plans, so the friends can ensure they arrive safely at their intended destinations.

“Due to the nature of the information required for ‘Friend Walk’ to function, the PITT SAFE app requests several permissions when it is being installed, including access to contacting the user’s mobile device and location data,” Owens said. “I’d like to assure everyone who downloads the application that neither PCC nor the app will collect and store that information at any time.”

Owens said PCC conducted a “soft launch” of PITT SAFE for employees to ensure its features functioned on a wide range of devices. He said students were to be notified of the app’s availability by early in the week.