UMKC emergency alert safety poles are located all across campus, and students can now have access to them with the click of an app.
Guardian, which debuted Oct. 30, 2018, is a public safety app run by Rave Mobile Safety, the same company who created RAVE Alert system, which is already used by the UM System, according to UMKC Police Captain Joe Rucinski. The app delivers the same alerts from the RAVE Alert system, such as inclement weather and campus closings, but also includes a variety of additional safety features.
“It was mandated by the president [Mun Choi], I believe, that all four campuses would purchase the app and put it out there for everybody to use,” said Rucinski.
Similar to apps like SafeTrek or Sentinal, Guardian includes a safety timer feature and can be activated when a user wants to make their exact location known. Users set a timer and select “Guardians” from their contact list to receive a message and their location. If the timer runs out before the user deactivates it themselves, the “Guardians” receive an alert, prompting them to check in with the user.
“I think it’s a great idea considering the area UMKC is in,” said UMKC student Autumn Johnson on the safety features of the app.
Rucinski said one of his favorite features is the option for users to text police if they are in a situation that makes dialing UMKC Police unsafe.
“You can say, ‘Hey, I’m just texting my friend,’ when you’re really just texting the police,” said Rucinski.
To use the text feature, users tap the “Submit Tip” tab and select the subject of the tip, such as an assault or disturbance. Then, a chat window will pop up, prompting the user to send a text and share their location with emergency personnel.
However, if users are safe enough to make a phone call, Guardian also includes an expansive phone directory.
“It works great and has every feature we could possibly want,” said Rucinski.
Guardian is available for both Apple and Android devices and is free to download and use.