Classes are now in session at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and students will have access to an added security platform this fall.

UHCL launched SafeZone, a safety communications service, that focuses on rapid responses to assistance calls across campus facilities, the university announced in a news release.

“We are always exploring ways to make UHCL even safer for our students, faculty and staff,” said Russell Miller, executive director of public safety and chief of police . “With technology, I prefer looking into the future rather than settling for the past. SafeZone is the future of campus public safety.”

The SafeZone service allows users to share real-time locations if they activate an app-based alert or choose to use the “check-in” feature, according to the release. Users of the service can opt out of sharing location information at any time. The goal of the app is for users to be able to request assistance on their smartphone at any time from anywhere on campus.

Miller said the app is supposed to provide a faster response time than calling 911 because it allows campus law enforcement to know the exact location of the user requesting help.

Additional information on the platform is being shared through social media, in-person meetings on campus, email and other groups, according to the release.

“Whether it’s an emergency, a medical issue or they want to check in as a lone worker after hours, SafeZone is a powerful tool to help us deliver the best possible service to our stakeholders,” Miller said.