The Safe UT app catches a large amount of threats to Utah schools
May 16, 2022, 7:22 PM | Updated: 7:27 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Officials with the Safe UT app say that it helps to prevent planned school attacks and other acts of violence weekly. This comes after reports that the accused Buffalo shooter made prior threats against his school before carrying out the attack.
App officials report 393 threats of violence against Utah schools in the last year, 146 specific to firearms. The Director of Community Crisis Intervention and Support services, Rachel Lucynski, says this is about one tip of potentially serious harm submitted to the app per school day.
“It could be anything from some sort of planned fight or altercation, up to bringing a firearm or an explosive device or something that could cause some pretty significant harm to one or more people,” Lucynski said.
She says tips could be something overheard in a school hallway or something concerning seen on social media.
“It takes a lot of bravery and courage for students, or parents or educators to speak out and report those things and make sure that they’re looked at and addressed appropriately by school officials and law enforcement,” Lecynski said.
The Safe UT app works
Lucynski told KSLNewsRadio that tips given to the Safe UT app are regularly monitored. Safe UT also keeps an eye on trends of potential school threats or acts of violence.
Additionally, she says Safe UT crisis councilors are available 24/7. They partner with school officials and law enforcement to look at the credibility of tips. The crisis councilors are there, ultimately, to keep students safe.
With 393 total threats in the past year, she says that she understands and empathizes with parents who may be scared to send their children to school. She says they can take heart that the app is working in keeping kids safe.
“It’s better to have the numbers being reported and looking at near misses or something that could have happened, rather than looking at the total count of things that did take place because students didn’t have a place to report those concerns,” she said.
She says the Safe UT App is a good place for students to submit tips anonymously.
“That’s the beauty of Safe UT,” Lucynski said. “Students can report this confidentially. No one has to know who reported the tip. What matters is that something was said and submitted.”
Learn more about Safe UT at safeut.org
Lindsay Aerts contributed to this story.