UWF launches personal safety app for students
This fall, the University of West Florida is launching UWF Guardian, a personal safety app that allows students rapid and proactive communication with the UWF Police Department and their safety network of family and friends.
“UWF Guardian is a great safety tool that the University has just initiated,” said Marc Cossich, chief of the UWFPD. “The app has three key features; an emergency panic button, a safety timer and two-way anonymous text; to ensure our students have another added layer of safety.”
UWF Guardian allows students to provide relevant personal information quickly to the UWFPD during an emergency, including GPS coordinates if available, to decrease response time and aid first responders in finding students who are unable to provide a location. By building a personal profile when they download the app, students can provide information that dispatchers can immediately access when they receive a call from a registered mobile phone.
The app allows students to contact UWFPD or 911 with a few clicks, providing first responders access to their safety profile for a more efficient emergency response. The UWF police panic feature acts as a personal panic button that calls dispatch when activated.
Other features in the app include a safety timer, which enables students to notify a parent, friend or the UWFPD when they are leaving a location and when they arrive at their destination.
“Whether you’re going from the library to get something to eat, or going from your residence hall to New York City, the safety timer allows you to have a friend watch you as you’re traveling,” Cossich said.
Students can set the safety timer to the amount of time they believe it will take them to travel from point A to point B. In the event that the feature is not turned off when the timer is up, the app will notify the student’s designated emergency contact and the UWFPD. The UWFPD will then contact the student to ensure their safety.
The app also features two-way texting with the UWFPD. Students can anonymously report crimes or tips directly to police with text or photos through the chat feature. The app includes a call directory feature with access to local police and sheriff’s departments, the UWF Counseling Center, UWF Student Affairs and the Lakeview Center Hospital 24-hour helpline among other emergency and counseling services.
The app is available for download in the AppStore for iPhone and in the GooglePlay store for Android by searching “Rave Guardian.” Subscribers to the app must use a UWF email address to login. To learn more about UWF Guardian, visit uwf.edu/guardian.