New app to increase safety on campus

By Emma King, Staff Writer

Baylor University has joined the list of colleges using the Rave Guardian app to promote safety on campus.

By downloading Rave Guardian and making an account with their Baylor email address, students and staff will have direct access to the Baylor Police Department through text messages and instant picture messages.

Police will be able to locate and respond to the incident in person or through the app by providing safety instructions. The Guardian app also allows students to place calls to Baylor Police Department or 911.

Baylor Police Chief Brad Wigtil  said he loves how functional the app is, whether sending an anonymous text or calling the department.

“The ability to communicate with the police department is critical,” Wigtil said.

Another feature on the app is the safety timer. This allows users to set a time limit for reaching a destination when they are traveling alone. The person chooses a guardian, such as a friend or law enforcement, who will be notified if the user doesn’t reach their destination and disable the timer within the set time.

Additionally, the app contains a Smart911 profile for each user. This profile allows the account owner to list physical characteristics, medical information, addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts, vehicles and animals.

Wigtil said the police department is a first responder for many medical emergencies, in addition to actual law enforcement duties.

“Let’s say as a student, faculty or staff member, you have a medical condition. I think it could really help us and our response if we knew that,” Wigtil said.

Wigtil also encourages users to put their dorm room or office number in their profiles so responders can get to their exact location quicker, in case the caller can’t communicate where they are.

“The app is open to students, faculty and staff,” said Mark Childers, associate vice president for public safety and security.

Childers referred to the app as a force multiplier  for the police department. He also said the app is open to students, faculty and staff.

“When students, faculty and staff are in their day-to-day activities on campus, if there’s something going on that doesn’t look right, doesn’t seem right, that may be critical, that they can report that real time and we can respond to it real time and stop whatever the threat is,” Childers said.

Childers and Wigtil agree the app can be used to notify the department of less criminal conditions too, like a car wreck or a tree branch about to break.

“As a community, we need to take care of each other…we need everybody’s help,” Wigtil said. “I want to encourage all faculty and staff to use this device to communicate with us and let us know what those problems or safety concerns might be, whether it’s a criminal incident in progress or all the way to ‘there’s a pothole in the street.’”

The Rave Guardian app can be found in both the Apple App Store and Android’s Google Play Store and can be activated for campus use with a Baylor email address. More information can be found on Baylor’s Department of Public Safety’s website.