Rave Guardian, which launches Wednesday, is an app that will provide Iowa State students and faculty with easier access to the ISUPD and safety options in their community.
With the new safety app launch, the Iowa State community now has access to a “guardian” while they travel, a full contact list of emergency and non emergency contact personnel, push notifications about campus activity and crime and a tip button for easy submissions to the ISUPD.
The app has six different icons, and each of its features will provide assistance on a day-to-day basis and in crisis. With the ability to send tips to the police and have the entire crisis directory at the touch of one's fingertips, ISUPD’s hope is that students and faculty will feel more at ease reporting crimes in their community.
Police Chief Michael Newton said the ISUPD is always evaluating different safety options, including apps for students, since technology is such a large part of their everyday life. Once the opportunity of a new safe app became affordable and reliable, the ISUPD was able to put their plan into action.
“When people start to download the app, hopefully they will start to think, ‘what is my role?’” Newton said.
Newton said he hopes that a community that is actively aware of their role in keeping their peers safe will hopefully improve safety.
Buildings on Iowa State’s campus, such as Parks Library, close late at night, and to eliminate the discomfort of walking home alone in the early a.m. hours or any other time of day, the app allows one to set a timer that will notify whomever one chooses to set as their guardian. If an individual has not reached their destination by the end of the timer, a text message is sent to the guardian to let them know that their friend or family member never reached their location.
ISUPD is available to act as a guardian from 6:00pm to 5:30 am. The SafeRide dispatchers are able to act as a guardian, track locations and respond if an individual never reaches their intended location.
In order for the safety timer function to work accurately, the GPS function within the app needs to be turned on. Allowing this function will give a more accurate location as to where assistance is needed and will help the ISUPD to respond much more efficiently in crisis.
Staying informed with what is happening in the community, especially in times of crisis is important, Newton said. The app has a feature that will allow members of Iowa State’s community to be notified when there is a crisis in the area and to receive push notifications.
If an individual is experiencing a crisis situation of their own, there is a button that links one directly with a 911 dispatcher. In a non emergency situation, all of the community, campus, and police phone numbers are listed under the call directory icon.
The Rave Guardian app is available in the Apple store and in Google Play. All smart phones support this app and anyone with an Iowa State NetID is able to use the app. Newton voiced how excited he is for the launch of this app and how helpful it will be for the Iowa State community as a whole.