May 6, 2024

VandySafe app provides mobile personal security option

There are several options VUMC employees can use to ensure not only their own safety, but that of their colleagues.


With the installation of additional weapons detection screening systems at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, a few questions have surfaced about employee safety choices.

There are several options employees can use to ensure not only their own safety, but that of their colleagues.

Vanderbilt Police offer these tips for parking garage and vehicle safety:

  • Secure any items such as identification, keys, wallet, purse, or other valuables. Do not leave valuables visible in your vehicle.
  • Lock your vehicles and ensure your windows are secure.
  • Report any suspicious persons to VUPD. Try to describe the person(s) as best you can.

The VandySafe app is also a great resource for personal safety for Vanderbilt employees.

Vanderbilt University Public Safety (VUPS) introduced VandySafe in 2018. The app is available for download on smartphones through the Apple and Google Play stores.

The app allows users to:

  • Contact VUPD via a phone call or real-time chat.
  • Trigger a mobile Bluelight or emergency phone by pressing the red emergency button on the app that shares your location instantly with VUPD.
  • Initiate a “Virtual Walkhome” whereby VUPD can monitor your walk home, to the car, or to the office while within the VUPD jurisdiction.
  • Submit iReports and crime tips.
  • Access support resources, such as Facilities, VUMC Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Project Safe, a center that provides information, support, referrals and education about sexual and intimate partner violence including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.
  • View emergency guides — this selection provides instructions for some of the emergencies that may impact the Vanderbilt community.

“VandySafe provides a variety of features to connect users with VUPS for emergency and non-emergency assistance,” said Jessamyn Davis, program manager of the Office of Emergency Management at Vanderbilt University. “It also provides users with resources and information to enhance personal preparedness.”

How Virtual Walkhome works:

This feature will use your location services to alert VUPD of your travels and monitor your movements. It also allows the user to tap the Emergency notification box if assistance is needed. This will trigger an alert on the VUPD dispatcher dashboard. This feature can be used in the surrounding areas outside of the main VUMC property.

Users can also initiate the friend watch feature that can be used anywhere by sharing your location with a friend/trusted contact, even if the friend does not have the VandySafe app.

“Utilizing VandySafe can be a proactive measure in enhancing personal safety,” said Capt. Michael Pring, Medical Center, VUPD. “Staying vigilant and aware of your surroundings remains paramount in any safety strategy.”

Pring said that while the features in the app can provide peace of mind, “it’s essential for users to familiarize themselves with the app’s functionalities and ensure they’re regularly updated.”

Outside of utilizing VandySafe, guests, faculty and staff can request an escort by calling 615-322-2745, and VUPS will assist them walking to and from any location on campus.

Questions about VandySafe, its capabilities and features can be directed to Davis at