LiveSafe app

The SafeWalk feature of the LiveSafe app allows users to share their location with others when walking around campus alone.

The Virginia Tech Police Department (VTPD) has made incredible strides in creating safety resources for students since the events of 2007. Employing Ut Prosim, the VTPD goes above and beyond to serve the Hokie community every day. It is always willing to help, no matter what the emergency.

VTPD offers a multitude of resources for students to learn and prepare themselves for all types of emergency situations that could arise. Taking advantage of these resources can help Hokies stay informed and ahead of the game. Here are a few of the ways that VTPD encourages students to stay safe on campus:

LiveSafe

LiveSafe has every resource that Virginia Tech students and faculty need to ensure their safety on campus. The ability to immediately call 911 or campus police with the touch of a button, anonymously report a crime or incident, and have access to safety tips in case of an emergency are all available to anyone who downloads the mobile app.

If you’re worried or feeling unsafe walking home at night, have a friend watch you through the app’s location sharing service to make sure you’re OK. It’s free, easy to use, and a good way to stay prepared and safe for any kind of emergency you may encounter.

R.A.D.

The Rape Aggression Defense program at Virginia Tech is a FREE course that offers a hands-on approach to defense training. Female students and employees that sign up are given the opportunity to learn self-defense techniques by fighting off local police officers that serve as mock assailants under layers of protective gear. What does this mean? Kick, punch and tackle a police officer the only time in your life you will actually be encouraged to.

Even better, the VTPD is working toward implementing a R.A.D. program in defense of men, so the program will soon be available to everyone in the VT community.

Chief of Police Kevin Foust says the VTPD will have finished training its instructors in October of this year, and the first class for males will likely be offered after winter break.

To participate in R.A.D., fill out an online application now on VTPD’s website.

Safe Ride

We’ve all gotten some weird Ubers at some point. It could have been an old woman hounding you for directions, or maybe Jeremy was just driving a little too close to the curb. In any case, VT Police is here to help with Safe Ride, a free nighttime transportation service that operates from dusk until dawn.

Safe Ride is available for anyone in the Virginia Tech community, students, faculty, staff and visitors, to ensure a safe and comfortable experience getting home. The service also offers a nightly walking escort at night for those who have to cross campus alone. Call 540-231-SAFE (7233) if you or a friend need assistance getting home or walking across campus.

Foust encourages the use of Safe Ride and assures that officers respect the privacy of anyone who calls, claiming “Our drivers do not ask anyone why they called Safe Ride.”

He shares, “In 2016, we provided a ride to 2,152 passengers. Through the end of August 2017, we’ve provided a ride to 2,212 people in 2017.”

Even with these resources, the overall question here is: Is Virginia Tech safe?

Niche.com rates Virginia Tech as the eighth safest university in America, so we must be doing something right. However, with the size of our university, there is bound to be some crime on campus.

According to a 2014 campus safety report, the most popular crimes we face at Virginia Tech are sexual assault, burglary and aggravated assault. Perhaps as LiveSafe, R.A.D. and Safe Ride increase in popularity, we’ll see these numbers go down.

The Virginia Tech Police Department is here to help in any emergency, whether it be keeping us informed with VT alerts or fielding our complaints and reports to the best of their ability. In the case of a “non-emergency,” officers can be reached at 540-231-6411 or found at 330 Sterrett Dr. (0523), Blacksburg, VA, 24061.

Campus safety, in the words of VT Police, is a “shared responsibility.” For now, follow the golden rule: If you see something, say something. Let’s keep our home safe.

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