November 25, 2015

The safety and security community is a close-knit one where we rarely get to celebrate and say thanks for the successes that happen every day. Most of the time, those successes never get talked about publicly. And so, as we prepare for a nice Thanksgiving with friends and family, we want to say thanks to all of the safety officials out there helping keep our communities safe.

The LA Times recently reported an event where the system worked exactly as it should. We are proud that the LiveSafe communication platform empowered a student to reach out for help, and that the USC Department of Public Safety and LAPD were able to cooperate in real-time to make an arrest of an UBER driver who fondled a USC student.

Here’s what happened:

  • Months/weeks before this event, USC encouraged students to download the USC Trojan Mobile Safety app as part of the student registration process. Students are educated about why and how to use the app.
  • On 11/22, a USC student was fondled by an UBER driver.
  • The USC student made a report through the LiveSafe USC Trojan Mobile Safety app. USC dispatch was granted permission to see her location on the cloud-based Command Dashboard (students are always in control of sharing their location information).
  • Using the student’s location, the USC DPS was able to coordinate with LAPD to canvas the area.
  • Within minutes, an arrest was made for sexual battery.

In a welcomed nod from colleagues at a school in North Carolina, a public safety official reached out to us the following day saying “Good job!” and that there are likely countless more stories like this that never reach the public. They thanked LiveSafe and USC for a job well done.

What is so important about this story is how it demonstrates so clearly the interdependency of various organizations and how actionable, crowdsourced information is key to a quick and effective response.  The LiveSafe platform facilitated the interdependency by providing a more seamless experience for both the student and the Command Dashboard operator. That said, technology is just one, albeit important, step in solidifying the interdependency. USC’s efforts started with a holistic, comprehensive approach to safety via campus-wide outreach campaign on ways to interact with the Public Safety department. An arrest of a perpetrator occurred because of the quick actions from the student and safety personnel alike.

The LiveSafe platform provided USC dispatchers the approximate location of the USC student at the time she placed the call. As opposed to spending minutes uncovering this information from a student who may or may not know their current location, or may not have the capacity to articulate their location, USC dispatch effectively communicated with both the student and LAPD to get the required help to the scene as quickly as possible.

When minutes matter, precise, relevant, and actionable information make the difference between missing a suspect who could be a repeat offender, and making an arrest.

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