New public safety app allows CMU students and employees easier access to police

Central Michigan University is turning to technology to make its Mt. Pleasant campus safer for its students and employees.

CMU Police researched safety apps for smart phones and landed on Rave Guardian, which can be downloaded both from the App Store for Apple devices or Google Play for Android devices. Registering with a CMU global ID will download a version of Rave Guardian customized specifically for CMU.

"Safety of our campus community is our No. 1 priority, and it is critical that we continue to utilize technology in our efforts," says CMU Police Lt. Mike Sienkiewicz.

"Our hope is that our students and employees utilize this app to establish a two-way connection with campus safety resources."

The app should make communication with the police department that much easier.

With the app, users can reach CMU Police to report incidents and request help, allowing the ability to send a photo or location as is necessary. Users can communicate with CMU Police or the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity via text messages. Both 911 and the CMU Police nonemergency number are accessible with a one-button touch.

Other features include receiving and managing Central Alerts, a content portal that allows access to maps and more, and a directory of important CMU contacts.

Perhaps one of the most important features of the Rave Guardian app is the safety timer, a sort of virtual escort. Users can allow friends and family to monitor their whereabouts when initiated.

The Central Alert system itself is being updated, with implementation expected to begin around 1 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6.

On its face, perhaps the most noticeable change will be that texts will come from a different shortcode than the one used previously. Weather alerts for tornado and flash flood warnings will also be issued. Guests can opt into the system for short- and long-term visits.

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