App boosts security at area college

Posted on: 5:54 pm, January 22, 2014, by , updated on: 12:21am, January 23, 2014

Students at an Illinois college can take an active role in keeping their campus safe. It’s a free app students can download right onto their cell phones. Sauk Valley Community College is the only one using the app in Illinois and students never have to reveal their identity.

The college started using the TipNow app two weeks ago, a way for students and staff to report anything unusual.

“It makes the ability to report a lot easier and it makes people feel safer,” said Brian Beckman, supervisor of security at Sauk Valley Community College.

It doesn’t need to be violence related, cheating, social abuse or even bullying can be reported.

“I think it can certainly help prevent it,” said Beckman.

It’s easy to use, you can either text, email, or leave a message. That then gets sent to a security phone and it’s all anonymous.

“I think that’s really cool, because a lot of people wouldn’t turn something in if they knew they were going to be recognized,” said Kaitlyn Miller, a student at Sauk Valley.

With phones constantly glued to student’s hands, some say it only makes sense.

“It would be something I know how to do, because its an app, it makes it easy for me because its so relevant today,” said Colin Goodman, a student.

In a time where Beckman says it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“If they see something, all we ask is that they say something,” said Beckman.

With the app students are able to send photos and videos. If the campus security needs additional information they are able to respond. The app cost the college around $2,000 a year.