From Emergency Management: University of Maryland students, faculty and staff were given access this week to a free Android smartphone app that gives them a direct and instantaneous line of communication to campus police and dispatch.

With the M-Urgency app, smartphone users on the College Park campus have the ability to broadcast real-time audio and video to emergency dispatchers with the push of a button. Police and fire can also find the user’s approximate location by triangulating off of the phone’s built-in GPS and cell towers.

The smartphone app sends audio and video to dispatch via the university’s wireless network. Dispatchers, in turn, can send the real-time data to responders in their cars or in the field.

The M-Urgency app can also be used as a “virtual police escort service,” a local radio station reported last month. Campus police could, for example, monitor a student’s smartphone video feed upon request as the person walked across campus at night.