Phone App Tested To Replace Blue Lights on College Campuses - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; |

Phone App Tested To Replace Blue Lights on College Campuses

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OMAHA (KPTM)- A big change in security could be coming to colleges near Omaha.

For more than 20 years, ‘blue lights' have been a staple on college campuses.

A new smart phone app may be the future for blue lights on college campuses. 

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is testing a new smart phone app that would replace the ‘blue lights' around campus.  The app is called "Lifeline Response." 

"I think it could be good and bad," said Marc Cubrich.

Cubrich was robbed at gunpoint at the end of August while walking on Creighton's campus.  He said he was just a couple hundred yards away from a blue light.

"It did cross my mind," said Cubrich.

Cubrich's phone was stolen and police caught the three men responsible shortly after.

He said when he was robbed, "It happened so quickly you don't really have time to even think about it," said Cubrich.

‘Lifeline Response' works like an alarm system that can be activated anywhere, according to founder, Peter Cahill. For example, one way the app can be used is by holding a finger on the phone until it is deactivated. Cahill said if the person is attacked, and their finger isn't on the phone, and alarm will go off.  If the user doesn't deactivate the app within 20 seconds, 911 dispatchers will be contacted.

Cahill said the app also has a GPS function, so police would know exactly where to go.

"I think that app could work in unison with the blue lights as well," said Cubrich.

UNL will be testing the program in the spring, but it hasn't made any decisions yet as about keeping or getting rid of the blue lights.

Creighton said it surveyed it's students about the app, and the students preferred the blue lights.

UNO said it is looking at using the blue lights more efficiently, and hasn't considered the app yet.

 Cubrich said he's happy to see the blue lights around campus and that the app has one major catch. "I know a lot of people have them, but not everyone has smart phones," said Cubrich.

Cahill said it would cost colleges two to seven dollars per student. Around 30 colleges across the country are using the app, according to Cahill.

 As for Cubrich, he said his robbery in August taught him to be aware, but not afraid. "It doesn't do any good being scared all the time."

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