FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas Police Department is recommending that students use a new location services app to improve campus safety.

Students, faculty, and staff can use the app What3Words to share their location with friends or emergency services instantly.

Evan Walker, freshman bio-med engineering major, says he wishes he had resources like this in Greenwood.

“A nearby school district of mine had someone just picked up. We never heard from him again, unfortunately,” Walker said. 

He says at the U of A, he feels much safer. 

“My friends are able to walk around at night and enjoy campus life,” Walker said. 

In 2022, U of A reported 18 burglary cases, 23 car theft cases, and 15 rapes with 13 taking place on campus property. 

This month, UAPD encouraged students to use tools like Safe Zone and What3Words to prevent crimes like this.

Safezone is only for U of A students, faculty, and staff but What3Words can be used by anyone around the world. 

What3Words divided the world into 3-meter squares, allowing users to give more exact locations than you’d typically find in a street address.

Then, that precise location can be shared with rideshare apps or first responders.

“Hopefully they show up, you know, in a timely manner,” Ryan Martin, an alumnus from U of A, said. 

He graduated from the university four years ago and says What3Words would’ve been useful because all they had were the 911 blue light emergency phones.

“Sometimes they’re so far spread apart, you wouldn’t be able to get to a box on time if an emergency was happening,” Martin said. 

To use What3Words, you can either download the app or use their online map at What3Words.com.