Emergency safety apps: Life line or waste of time? - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Emergency safety apps: Life line or waste of time?

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

More than 80 people have been murdered in Memphis already this year.

It's a scary statistic, especially when we all want to feel safe. Your smart phone can be used as a tool for protection with a few safety apps.

The "OnCamera" app claims to be the next generation of protection, with patented technology allowing you to be on a live, two-way, recorded video call with a trained police officer in about one second.

OnCamera follows up with the call, and uses your GPS location and streaming video to help emergency services get to you faster.

Another app, called "WatchOverMe," lets you set a time to be watched over by your selected contacts. Later, tell the app you're safe, or it will notify your contacts you need help.

The "BeSafe" app allows your contacts to follow you to your location, ring a fake call in case of an emergency, or activate an alarm on your phone that calls your contacts immediately.

Major Clark with Security One at Overton Square in Midtown has been keeping people safe for more than 43 years. She is skeptical of the apps, and believes they only work if the circumstances are perfect.

"These apps are geared for if a person has the time or the wherewithal in the case of an emergency to mess with their phone," Major Clark said.

Major Clark does not recommend relying solely on technology for safety.

"A person, when they have an emergency, doesn't have time to fiddle," she said. "They just don't."

Major Clark said while you can never be too safe taking extra precautions, being smart and aware of your surroundings is always the best option.

"When you leave a business to go to your car, that's when you’ve got to be smart," Major Clark said. "Don't leave the doorway until you look. Is it busy? Is there anybody out there? Is my car by itself? Is somebody parked by my car?"

And don't forget, people like Major Clark are there for a reason.

"Most shopping centers have security," Major Clark said. "You can ask for a security person to walk you to your car."

All of the apps mentioned in this story are currently free in your smartphone app store. Make sure you notify your selected emergency contacts before adding them to the apps.

According to the OnCamera app Facebook page, the OnCamera app is currently donor-funded and in beta testing. You can sign up for updates on when it will become available in Memphis here.

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