OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The State of Oklahoma announced the launch of a new safety app on Monday.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (OKDPS), the ProtectOK app was created by the state and the Oklahoma School Security Institute to ensure the safety of Oklahoma’s communities and schools.
“Gun violence is the number one factor in child death in our country, which we find totally unacceptable,” said Tim Tipton, Commissioner of Public Safety for Oklahoma. “ProtectOK was created to be a simple, free and anonymous way for people to bring threats forward to law enforcement so we can quickly intervene to save lives.”
Officials say the app allows users to quickly and anonymously submit suspicious activity to authorities. In four out of five school shootings, at least one other person was aware of the shooter’s plan but failed to speak up.
“Kids deserve to go to school and feel safe, to feel safe going to watch a football game. Parents should feel safe that when their kids go to school, they don’t have to worry about someone coming and doing a mass shooting,” said Robert Jones, Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Del City. “It’s happening too much to say it’s not going to happen to us. I never thought it would happen to me, and it happened twice.”
OKDPS says community-based threats can also be reported through the app. A recent shooting at the Oklahoma State Fair seriously injured one and terrified thousands.
The app is available for free at the Apple App Store and Google Play. The program is also part of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.