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Department of Public Safety debuts new, mobile-friendly website

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Taylor Cornelious, third-year public affairs, browses the refreshed features and tips on the newly launched Public Safety website. Credit: Caitlyn Sack | Lantern Reporter

Taylor Cornelious, third-year public affairs, browses the refreshed features and tips on the newly launched Public Safety website. Credit: Caitlyn Sack | Lantern Reporter

The Ohio State Department of Public Safety launched a new, mobile-friendly website with the goal of enhancing communication and safety on and off campus.

The website, which was updated Jan. 22, is designed to be more responsive and mobile-friendly, which in turn will allow students to easily access safety tips and resources, said Dan Hedman, Office of Administration and Planning spokesman, in an email.

“Recent polls have shown nearly eight out of 10 college students use a smartphone on a regular basis, and the focus on consuming news or information from the palm of your hand continues to increase,” Hedman said.

Hedman said that the website has a responsive design and “is tailored to better serve (the) university community.”

The website also features large graphics and buttons with streamlined content that support fast and efficient browsing from smartphones, tablets and desktops, he added.

The mobile site’s home screen allows viewers to almost instantly call emergency and nonemergency telephone numbers. The website also includes short write-ups on each of the departments that make up the Department of Public Safety, and provides the phone numbers of four other police departments in the Columbus area.

Hedman said he believes that the revamped site and communication improvements will resonate with the always-changing student population.

Jacquelyn Gardner, a third-year in marketing, said she first heard of University Police’s website updates on Twitter.

“I went to go look at it,” Gardner said. “I was really impressed with how easy it was to navigate the site.”

The public safety department website now provides six additional services to students.

The website can be used by students to request safe rides from Student Safety Services, and it gives Rape Aggression Defense training and registration times. It also provides an event-planning model, which guides event planners through devising a safe, successful event.

Students may also request radio communication for events, register a bike in case of theft and request assistance with reviewing existing areas and construction for security issues.

Public safety wants to remind students, faculty and staff to always be vigilant about safety and to look out for one another, always walk with a friend or group of people and to speak up if something seems suspicious, Hedman said.

“Staying informed is one of the best tools to enhancing safety for everyone,” Hedman said.

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