The Journal Gazette
Saturday, September 19, 2020 1:00 am

Furthermore ...

App makes PFW campus virtually safer

Technology is giving students, faculty and staff on the Purdue University Fort Wayne campus an additional security tool this fall.

A new app is available to turn smartphones into panic buttons.

The Rave Panic Button serves as both a safety device, allowing a user to instantly issue a call for help, and as a device for receiving notice of campus emergencies.

“As technologies grow, people rely on their smartphones more and more as a safety net,” Lisa Zerkle, PFW's director of campus events and its emergency preparedness and planning coordinator, said in a news release. “At the push of a button, this product suite provides personal protection and information tools that can go wherever you go. In addition to 911, the apps simultaneously alert key responders on campus, which saves precious seconds in an emergency.”

Users can invite classmates and family to join a private safety network and then alert them to virtually walk with the user on or off campus. The network also extends campuswide emergency alerts to anyone in the campus network. 

Campus security can be an important factor in students' enrollment decisions.

The latest edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges shows only one report of violent crime at PFW – from 2018 statistics – but the smartphone app gives students and their families an extra measure of confidence.

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