SC State campus safety director: New app turns smartphone into personal safety device

Updated: Feb. 24, 2020 at 9:00 AM EST
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ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina State University is now offering a new measure of security. Students and faculty can turn their smartphones into a safety device by simply downloading an app.

This free app is called Rave Guardian and gives you immediate access to law enforcement whether you’re on or off campus.

The director of campus safety says this will give everyone at SC State a better sense of security.

It’s an app being used on college campuses across the country. The Rave Guardian allows users to create a profile, which includes their information, and they can then invite family and friends – or Guardians – to join their network. Those Guardians can then virtually walk with you to ensure you make it to your destination safely.

The new safety feature also offers a panic button, which will instantly connect you with campus safety or 911 if you’re off campus.

Joseph D. Nelson is the campus safety director and chief of police at SC State. He says the app, “Gives the students and our faculty a sense of a having a safety security officer with them at all times.”

A senior at the university, Jaelyn McCrea, says, “I actually wish we had it our freshman year, because there are times where we could have really needed this app and used it. It’s just good to know that we can send anonymous tips. If we’re uncomfortable with a certain situation, we can let them know faster.”

The idea is to offer students and faculty members emergency assistance with just the tap of your finger. This will only add to campus security already in place through the campus safety dispatch center, which is monitored 24/7, 365 days of the year.

The app allows users to reach out to campus first responders directly, including through an instant message option. You can also submit tips anonymously through the app.

“I think it’ll definitely help promote the idea of ‘see something, say something.’ We’re always told, ‘Don’t tell. Don’t say anything. Something bad could happen to you,’ but if they don’t know who told, and if campus police don’t know who told then you pretty much take away that fear in telling,” McCrea said.

Chief Nelson believes that this will assist campus safety officers, and says he’s, “Confident that this application will save lives here, protect property and will be vital to our security measures for years to come here at South Carolina State University.”

The app became available at SC State earlier this month.

Campus safety officers have gone through extensive training with the app, and will continue training to ensure they can respond as quickly as possible.

There will also be live demonstrations so that the campus community understands exactly how the app works and the importance of downloading it.

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