CHARLOTTE, N.C. - College students at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte have a new tool at their fingertips to protect themselves on campus.
Campus police have launched a new smartphone app.
Close to 30,000 students, faculty and staff learn and work on the campus, and UNCC Police Chief Jeff Baker is always looking for new ways to protect them.
Students can now download a lifesaving app, LiveSafe, to their smartphones or tablets.
It allows them to alert campus police dispatch if they're walking alone at night, report crimes as they happen and even send police pictures or video evidence.
"You have that ability to capture them on film if they were stealing or anything like that," Baker said. "You can send it to us, and on our way there, we're looking for the person."
If a student is in danger and can't talk, he or she can contact police via text message.
The app also acts as a personal panic button so police can find someone's exact location.
Kristina Anderson, who helped develop the technology, told Channel 9 anchor Allison Latos through a Skype interview how she survived the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.
"I remember trying to actually actively stop my breathing because I was panting and I thought he could see my stomach moving," Kristina Anderson said.
The gunman killed 32 people and injured 17 others.
"He shot me in the back. He came back again and shot me in the back again. Eventually, I was shot three times and he took his own life in front of our classroom," she said.
The app isn't just for emergencies.
It also provides maps to help students find their classrooms.
Graduate student Jenna Brown told Channel 9 that she plans to download it.
"Students are always on their phones," Brown said. “So it's a really accessible way to communicate.”
Police hope the whole student body is proactive about their protection.
Baker said East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will be the next schools to offer the LifeSafe app.
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