Security via Cell Phones Coming Soon
Coming soon to your cell phone is a double layer of campus security.
One tells police where you are in case of emergency and the other is a timer that calls you if you haven’t turned it off.
West Georgia police hope that students, faculty and staff take to the system, which is scheduled to be unveiled in November.
Dubbed Wolf Guardian, the technology was developed by Rave Mobile Safety. College campuses have been using one or more of Rave’s mobile safety applications since 2004, said Raju Rishi, the company’s chief strategy officer and founder. Rave Mobile Safety has its headquarters in Framingham, Mass. and offices in New York.
Users of Wolf Guardian will get two numbers to program into their phones. One number is for emergencies -- a panic button, if you will. The other number sets a timer that users can later deactivate.
The system allows each user to build an online profile that includes a photograph, residence or office location, car information and schedule. The profile page also allows a user to include other pertinent information such as health problems or if there are domestic violence issues.
Rave Mobile Safety has agreements with the major cell phone carriers – Sprint, AT&T, Verizon – that allows it to use a phone’s GPS capabilities to show where a user has been and the user’s current location after the Guardian service has been activated.
When a user dials the emergency phone number, the call goes to university police dispatch along with the information in the profile.
“This gives us the ability to know, if you have a heart condition or if there is domestic violence,” said University Police Chief Thomas Mackel. “The information is sitting right there for us.”
The other phone number is particularly useful in late-night or early-morning situations. It allows a user to call in, leave a short voice message with important information, such as current location, destination, route of travel, expected arrival time.
The user then sets the timer, for example 10 minutes to get to the Campus Center.
Just before the time is up, the Guardian system sends the phone a text reminder to shut down the timer. If the timer expires and the user has not turned it off, the system calls the phone and asks for a code. If the user does not respond or puts in the wrong code, the system notifies police dispatch, who will send officers to locate the user.
The system can’t track the locations of some phones, Boost Mobile for example. Even if the system is unable to determine a user’s location, it still provides critical information to university police, Rishi said.
If a user hits the panic button, or if the Guardian timer expires, the police still get the data, he said.
“The value is not only in the location,” Rishi said. “The value is in the profile information.”
The Morehouse School of Medicine in among the schools that use the system. Georgia Gwinnett College is scheduled to implement it in November, said GGC Chief of Public Safety Terry Schneider. Major Willie Woolfolk, the assistant chief of the Mercer University Police Department in Atlanta, said the Guardian system has been implemented at the school’s Macon campus.
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