Va. Tech shooting survivor helps Utah college roll out new safety app

Posted at 5:54 PM, Nov 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-10 19:54:14-05

OGDEN, Utah -- A survivor of the Virginia Tech College shooting is helping to launch the first campus safety app on a northern Utah tech college campus.

Ogden-Weber Tech College became the first Utah school to bring campus safety electronically to staff and students’ fingertips.

“We’re a tech college -- we want to be on the leading edge of technology and so we felt like we needed to get something out there right now

that was effective,” said Fred Frazier, security coordinator emergency manager at Ogden-Weber Tech College.

Kristina Anderson, victim of the 2007 Virgina Tech shooting, was in Ogden Monday to help with the launch of Live Safe app.

Anderson was 19 when the shooting happened.

“I was in the French classroom, one of the more critically impacted, I was shot three times during the event,” said shooting victim Kristina Anderson.

After recovering from two shots to the back and one to her foot, Virginia Tech shooting survivor went to work to make college campuses safer.

Anderson helped develop the Live Safe app, which allows students to share safety concerns, report a crime, even chat with local law enforcement on campus.

“Someone usually knows in a campus, if someone is not doing well or if they want to commit a violent act, they just don’t really speak up or share that information and so why don’t they do that? It’s inconvenient to do so, it’s scary, it’s cumbersome and now what’s changed is we have smart phones,” Anderson said.

Frazier said he spent the summer trying out different campus safety apps and stumbled upon the Live Safe app. It’s one that focuses on preventing campus crimes and crisis before they occur.

“We’re not going to make our best progress in stopping an armed assailant until we handle the prevention and prevent it happening in the first place,” Frazier said.

Security at Ogden-Weber Tech College feels the app will prevent campus crimes because it gives students immediate access to law enforcement.

Students can even upload video or audio and send it anonymously to campus police.

“If they choose to be anonymous, I can still communicate with them in a chat. I can instantly open a chat and say, ‘where are you at,’ ‘what does the suspect look like,’ I can let them know we have officers on the way,” Frazier said.

Students received word of the Live Safe app rollout this week in an email and new students will get an informational flier during registration.