New safety app connects you to police with press of a button - KMOV.com

New safety app connects you to police with press of a button

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The creator of SafeTrek app is moving its headquarters to downtown St. Louis and hopes the app will help St. Louisans feel safer. Credit: KMOV The creator of SafeTrek app is moving its headquarters to downtown St. Louis and hopes the app will help St. Louisans feel safer. Credit: KMOV

ST. LOUIS. Mo. (KMOV.com) – One of the most popular safety mobile apps is moving its headquarters to downtown St. Louis and hopes it can help St. Louisans feel a bit safer walking home.

It’s called SafeTrek and was started by a St. Louis native when he attended Mizzou. Zach Winkler started the app when he realized there were students who didn’t feel safe walking home alone.

“It works very similar to how your home security system works, were going to call your local police department and relay them the information they wouldn't normally get on a 911 call,” said Winkler.

The app has more than thousands of users nationwide and works by putting your safety in the palm of your hand.

“Let’s say you’re walking home late at night and you’re feeling a little unsafe or a little paranoid, that’s ok, open up the SafeTrek application and press on the bright blue button, holding on it while you feel unsafe,” demonstrated Winkler. “If everything is fine, nothing happened, release your finger from the button and enter your four digit pin. No one’s notified. We’re glad you’re safe.”

But if you’re not safe, release the button, don’t enter your pin and SafeTrek notifies police. The biggest difference between the app and simply calling 911 is that it’s able to use your phone’s GPS.

“If you call 911 from right here it can take them up to six minutes to get up to a 300 meter accuracy reading of your location, 911 was built for landlines and about 70 percent of 911 calls come from cell phones and it hasn’t adapted. With SafeTrek we can locate you within in five meter accuracy,” said Winkler.

SafeTrek is partnering with Downtown STL Inc and is offering the app free for downtown residents for six months. Other customers can try it for free for a month, after that it costs $2.99 per month.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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