TUPD looking into developing app

Temple Police is considering a wearable piece for tracking location.

Campus Safety Services has begun to look into developing an app for students to help them get home safely without using a walking escort.

Students could enter their beginning location and final destination and then dispatchers will monitor the app to ensure students arrive at their destination within a set timeframe. If a student does not get to the selected location within a specific time, an alert will be sent to dispatchers with that student’s name and location. Then the dispatchers would contact the student to ensure his or her safety.

“No harm, no foul,” said Charlie Leone, the executive director for Campus Safety Services. “That is the type of app students said they were looking for.”

Leone said Campus Safety is also looking to have a feature that would allow students to send text messages in emergency situations. The messages would be sent “incognito” to keep students safe while reaching out to Temple Police for help and removing the necessity for a telephone call.

TU Alerts will not be administered through the app, Leone said. Instead, it will have general safety tips for users.

Leone said he is evaluating the construction and implementation dynamics behind the app.

“We’re getting feedback from students and now starting the process to see what apps are out there and then the funding that would be needed,” he said. “The best thing would be that we need to start getting some information, some proposals from people so we can get an idea of cost factors and that sort of thing.”

Leone said multiple apps are under review. Rave Guardian, an app used by the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, is one of the apps the university has started looking into.

ROAR for Good, a mobile platform created by Yasmine Mustafa, a 2006 Temple alumna, is also being considered, Leone said. The app comes with a wearable pendant that works as a safety tool for students, showing where they are if they are in trouble.

Determining cost, infrastructure, purchasing, and vendors are a part of the process, Leone said.

He added the app could be available as early as Fall 2017.

Haley Proctor can be reached at haley.proctor@temple.edu.

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