Long Beach State students have received emails to join the mobile application Wildfire, an app that keeps students informed of possible criminal activities or major events on campus.
After the app is fully installed on a smartphone, it’s really easy to navigate around it. The app has a similar look to Reddit, which means that students can upvote or downvote a post, make a comment and share a post on other social media.
So far, the app has been used by students to alert each other of possible scams. Some users have shown concern about strange people wandering around campus that have been following students and asking them questions.
Other students have used the app as a social platform to ask other students to be friends. Some have actually made open invitations to parties, while others have shared memes.
Third-year political science major Sam Van Leven said that he found out about the app through his friend who told him that the app was cool.
Van Leven said that he finds the app useful, and uses it to find places to hang out on campus. He said that he saw a post about people handing out stuff on campus, but he hasn’t seen any posts that could indicate potential harm to him or other students.
Police Capt. John Brockie of the University Police Department said that students should still stick to Beach Alerts.
“[The app] doesn’t take the place of 9-1-1,” Brockie said. “We expect that if anyone sees anything on campus that looks suspicious, that they are going to call us.”
Brockie said that the police department is not affiliated to the wildfire app, but he’s personally not against the app because it is another way for students to report anonymously.
“I know it can be very intimidating for some people to come down here to talk to police officers, but we also want them to know that we are here to protect them,” he said.
To Brockie, the only downfall in the Wildfire app is that anyone can post there, and certain posts may create disturbances among students if they don’t express themselves correctly.