New Public Safety Initiatives
By Lara Wade
TAMPA, Fla. (May 28, 2010) -- Since establishing the Division of Public Safety in January 2008, the University of South Florida Tampa campus has implemented initiatives aimed at strengthening the Emergency Notification System and the various safety programs which provide a secure environment for students and university employees. USF’s Division of Public Safety will now be adding two new components to keep the university community safe: Smart 911 and Guardian.
Smart 911 and Guardian are one-year pilot projects available to all Tampa students and employees who will be able to register for the new services on the USF website beginning June 1, 2010.
Smart 911 provides emergency responders with critical personal data about a subscriber in the event of a 911 call. This critical data may include a USF ID Card photo, class schedule for students, office location for faculty/staff, vehicle information and for customers with certain cell phone carriers, a physical location of the individual via GPS location services. Having this information available to emergency responders can improve outcomes of emergency calls.
The Guardian program can turn a cell phone into a mobile safety device when subscribers activate a “precautionary timer” as they travel from one area of the campus to another. The timer is set as the individual leaves a location and will alert the University Police if that person does not call to cancel the timer in a specified amount of time. If the alert does not get cancelled, University Police are provided with critical profile information and for some customers with certain cell phone carriers, a physical location via GPS.
Both services are voluntary, opt-in programs and the location and personal information of a subscriber are only accessible by emergency personnel when contact is initiated by the individual. Smart 911 and Guardian use technology from Rave Mobile Safety, a company currently providing other safety programs at the university. The first year of operation will be considered a pilot phase at USF. If successful, USF will consider renewing the agreement and making these programs a permanent part of its public safety program.
In addition to offering the new Smart 911 and Guardian programs, USF keeps the on-campus community safe with its Emergency Notification System. To learn about all six components of the Emergency Notification System, click here.