Columbus State University offers free safety app for students

Columbus State University offers free safety app for students

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A safer campus for Columbus State University students is now just a few clicks away when using the new app Piper, according to university officials.

"Sometimes around certain areas you want to feel safe always," said, CSU student Keyhana Jackson.

Piper, the free-to-download app available for iOS and Android devices, allows CSU students the ability to easily access University Police should they have a safety concern or want to report suspicious behavior.

The app allows anyone to call campus police directly or text the police with their accurate location data based on the nearest beacon connection.

CSU joins the city of Columbus' Safe City program, which uses a similar public safety solution from Piper.

Columbus recently became the world's most fully deployed iBeacon city with over 1,250 beacons and more than 85 businesses and organizations using the Piper app

"It's definitely a different way to communicate," said Greg Hudgison, Director of Columbus State University Relations. "Students are definitely on their phones more. This app gives them another layer of safety. To reach [students] it has to be digital and it has to be app form."

He said by cross tracking, the Bluetooth signal connects to more than 100 beacons across the city of Columbus and both of the university campuses so students can always feel safely connected.

Jackson said although she always tries to make sure she is walking with people on campus, with the Piper app, she'll feel more at ease concerning her safety.

"If I'm by myself, this is a great tool to make sure that I am secure when I am walking," said Jackson.

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