SafeUT app sees big increase in tips on threats, chat use

Oct 4, 2022, 10:07 PM | Updated: Oct 5, 2022, 11:18 am

SALT LAKE CITY — On the app designed to keep them safe, Utah students are reporting more tips related to violence, more total tips and using the app chat feature too.

KSL TV obtained new data by the app to see how many tips and chats are logged each month, and under what categories. And, while the numbers are up almost across the board, state officials believe that’s actually good news.

“I think really what the biggest thing is, is that we’re getting out more and we’re spreading the word in the community,” Dema Ollerton, interim manager of SafeUT told KSL TV.

New data shows SafeUT had an increase of 10% in total tips and an increase of 19% in chats. They also had an increase of 4.5% in all tip categories related to potential threats/acts of violence.

The numbers compare last month to September 2021. State officials hope when students do feel something isn’t right, they will reach out through the SafeUT app. It turns out, thousands are doing just that.

“We’re really trying to promote a culture of if you see something, say something,” Ollerton said. “And I think that’s really coming out in our numbers.”

This September,  SafeUT received a total of 936 tips, compared to 851 the same time last year.

“Our top tips continue to be about suicide, about bullying and about loneliness and general mental health issues,” Ollerton said.

The chat room is where thousands of students are reaching out. Nearly 3,000 last month, compared to close to 2,500 in September 2021.

“The difference tends to be tips are about someone else where chats are usually about the individual themselves,” Ollerton said.

Data for the app is broken down even further to include categories that include things like guns, violence, and planned school attack. While the overall tips and chats are up, planned school attack saw a 20% drop year over year.

The SafeUT app is free and easy to download. Experts say now is a good time for parents to make sure their kids have downloaded and know how to use it.

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SafeUT app sees big increase in tips on threats, chat use