CASTLETON — A new smartphone app promises to make Castleton University campus a little bit safer for students, faculty and staff.

The Castleton Safety App, created by emergency-notification service Everbridge, will give registered users a direct line of communication with the university's Office of Public Safety.

"This is a proactive effort in maintaining student safety," said Keith Molinari, director of public safety at Castleton. "Colleges are beginning to move to apps for safety communication. Using an app is another way for students to communicate with Public Safety and one that nearly all of our students are familiar with."

Features of the app include: "Check-in," which allows users to log their last known location; "SOS," which sends an alert to an on-duty officer as well as allows the officer speak directly with users and record the call; "Safe Corridor," which provides users with a "virtual escort," records the call and requires a check-in upon arrival at a destination; and "Emergency Call," which places a call directly to the public safety office.

The university said it will continue to maintain its blue-light emergency phone system across campus.

At the beginning of the fall semester, the university implemented Castleton Alerts, a campus-wide alert system also powered by Everbridge. When activated, the system sends messages via text, email and voicemail to users.

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