NORFOLK (NNS) -- United States Fleet Forces Command began the second phase of a six-month pilot program with focus groups held on April 11th and 12th to discuss new updates to the LiveSafe smartphone application and usefulness to the fleet.
During the discussions, Sailors spoke LiveSafe representative Wes Blackwell about their experiences using the application and ways to improve the application.
A notable update to the program is the ability to call one of the local taxi services that have been properly vetted to drive on base for more convenient pick-up and drop off for the Sailor.
"In today's world everyone is trying to be anonymous and this app is a great way to do that," said Yeoman 1st Class Brendan Little. "The best part is that Sailors can help prevent destructive behavior without confrontation."
The application will provide region-specific maps displaying locations and hours for emergency services, Fleet and Family Support Centers, sexual assault response coordinators, medical services, victim legal counsel, chaplains, Naval Criminal Investigation Services, legal services, housing offices, and off-limits locations.
The app will also feature links to simplified program information associated with a variety of Navy programs to include sexual assault prevention and response, family advocacy, suicide prevention, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, and the latest updates and policy changes for each of the programs. Content will be available even when Wi-Fi or cell phone signal is not.
"The technology can help with prevention and bystander intervention efforts and provide Sailors with a voice," said Capt. Charles Marks, U.S. Fleet Forces sexual assault prevention and response officer. "We are looking to make the application more useful in the Sailor's day-to-day life and more useful during an emergency."
Once downloaded, users will have access to local and base emergency services and a special "Walksafe" feature allowing Sailors to temporarily share their GPS location with someone of their choosing. As they travel, the Sailors will be able to communicate with their chosen person through phone conversation or silently, depending on the circumstances. Once the Sailor has arrived at their destination and are free of possible dangers, the GPS tracking can be disabled.
All Sailors in Hampton Roads and Naval Station Rota are encouraged to download the app, use it, and provide feedback during periodic focus group meetings regarding the app's use and ability. Sailor feedback will be a crucial part of the pilot program to ensure the Navy knows the shortfalls and issues with the program prior to its Navy wide launch.
The app, developed by LiveSafe with the Navy, is now available for free in Apple's App Store and the Google Play store.
Download at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/livesafe/id653666211?mt=8
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf/.