New app allows college students to report crimes with video

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) – There is a new app available for college students, faculty and staff.

It’s called NowForce. Launched a week ago, the app gives students just one more tool to report crimes faster.

“We were looking for other ways that students, faculty and staff could report crime that would enhance overall campus safety,” Police Chief John Manley said.

Manley said after learning about NowForce during a conference last Fall, he decided it was worth an investment. In all, the university pays just $1,000 in license fees per year for the product.

“It was demonstrated to us, we liked it and so we brought it back to the campus,” he said.

Here’s how it works: Once a student, faculty or staff member downloads the app he or she can report a crime by dragging the arrow on the SOS feature.

The call is routed to campus police and then video is recorded. Officers can pinpoint where a student is through a mapping system in their patrol cars.

“We see this mobile app as just another means and we think it’s a great means to get live video footage of a call, of an incident when it’s occurring,” Chief Manley said. “[We] also give our officers [information]. When they know they are responding to the scene they’ll be actually able to see what’s occurring in real-time.”

NowForce doesn’t just work on campus. Officials say if a student is off campus, a crime can still be reported. In that case, the call is routed to the nearest law enforcement agency and the video goes back to ECSU police.

“I think it gives us a greater opportunity for a person to report to us and have some evidentiary value with it that you didn’t have before,” Chief Manley said.

As of this article only 60 people have downloaded the app. Officials expect more students to download the app when the spring semester starts in January.

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