Usafe app wins crime prevention contest

Blair Emerson

Student groups Co-Lab and Echo Spot started their Crime Innovation Contest a month ago asking students to submit their best ideas and inventions aimed to reduce crime and increase safety on campus.


“What we wanted to see is student initiative, ”said Nadya Nguyen the President of Echo Spot at the showcase event on Tuesday. “We strongly believe there are a lot of smart and creative people on campus.”


The winning project was Usafe, a smartphone app designed by a group of students to increase access to the University’s security monitor program 624-WALK.


“Even though [624-WALK] is a great solution it’s underutilized,” said one of the app creators and computer engineering senior Taylor Trimble on Tuesday.


Student government leaders, a University police officer, and representatives from the Office for Student Affairs and the Office of Public Engagement sat on a panel of judges who chose the winner.


The creators of Usafe were awarded with $1,500 and Nguyen said she hopes after this competition the app will continue to gain traction at the University.


Trimble said they are already working with University administrators to get the app started on campus this fall. In the future the group said they would like to introduce the app to more universities.


“Usafe works, we’ve built it and we’ve tested it multiple times with the 911 dispatch call center,” said Trimble, “they loved it a lot and users loved it too.”