Campus safety implemented a new safety app called Pioneer Shield that students can download. The app will allow students to report emergencies and non-emergency crime quickly and easily.
“For the same amount of money we spent on the old system, which did nothing more than send you emergency text messages, we got this system that does an awful lot more than what the old did,” said David Burnip, director of campus safety.
If students find themselves in distress, they can use the app to select the help they need, whether it is campus safety, fire and EMS or 911. The app lets students fill out a profile that will help safety workers to identify the student and to learn basic health information about them.
“That is a time saver, and a time saver in a medical emergency can be a lifesaver,” Burnip said.
The iReports feature of the Pioneer Shield app allows students to fill out a report on non-emergency crime activity. The student simply needs to select the type of crime, answer a few questions, and if applicable, they can submit a photo or video of the crime.
Another feature of the app is the Safety Check, which can give students extra security when they are alone. A brief activity description is typed in and an amount of time for that activity is selected. If the student does not end the timer before it goes off, the student’s emergency contacts will be notified.
School closure and emergency notifications will be sent through the app via push notifications. Students who do not have a smartphone can still receive notifications by making sure their current phone number is on file with student development.
To gain the maximum benefits from the Pioneer Shield app, Burnip suggests that students always have their location services turned on. If a student does need help, a geo-fence on campus and GPS technology off-campus will help safety workers find them.
“You don’t even have to be on Malone’s campus,” Burnip said.
The app will work anywhere in the United States.
An internal positioning system, which was set up over the summer, creates the geo-fence around campus. IPS technology uses the wireless nodes in campus buildings to help safety locate someone once they contact safety services through the Pioneer Shield app.
[pullquote]“We became a site that helped develop a lot of the things you’ll find in this app,” Burnip said.[/pullquote]
“Malone is only one of two universities in the U.S. with IPS technology,” Burnip said.
IPS technology has only existed for less than six months and is spreading to other universities.
According to Burnip, as of Sept. 5 there were about 250 downloads. Burnip hopes the app will reach at least 1500 downloads. The app is available in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.
The app, created by 911Cellular, was originally designed for Cleveland State Community College.
“We became a site that helped develop a lot of the things you’ll find in this app,” Burnip said.
Now other colleges and universities across the country are implementing the app for themselves.
Campus safety is also working on another project through their new technology to make campus more secure. In the event that an intruder goes into a classroom, a distress signal can be sent out from the keyboard and will notify campus safety. Then, a webcam in the classroom will be activated so safety workers can see and hear what is happening.
“Every classroom has a computer,” Burnip said. “Any student or professor could hit that distress button and tell us right away that there’s a problem in that classroom.”
Webcams are currently being tested to find the best fit for various types of classrooms. Burnip hopes to have the system completely installed by winter break.