New app instantly recognizes users’ location and sends police help immediately
Cleveland State University has beta tested and today launched a new cutting-edge smartphone app that can identify a user’s location and send police help with the single touch of a button. CSU is the first campus in the nation to implement the new system, developed by 911Cellular of Beachwood, Ohio.
“As one of the safest universities in Ohio, we regularly look to stay ahead of emerging new technologies, and this is a big step forward,” said Stephanie McHenry, vice president of Business Affairs & Finance at CSU. “This provides us with an added layer of security for our students, faculty and staff.”
The app at CSU, which has been branded Viking Shield, is integrated into the campus police computer system. When an alert is signaled, the user’s phone automatically transmits its location to campus police, allowing dispatchers to send help immediately.
The technology is the by-product of law enforcement professionals, students, IT specialists and educators working together to address a variety of safety issues facing schools and universities.
The app offers a variety of other benefits, including the ability to send texts, photos and video of suspicious activity directly to police. Dispatchers can forward vital information back to their officers in the field, and in extreme conditions, the app can message all of its users with campus-wide safety instructions.
With the user’s permission, the app can even store critical medical information about the users, such as allergies, blood types and medications needed to assist first responders. CSU is providing Viking Shield to all of its affiliates at no cost.
“We’ve had enormous success developing and refining this system at CSU,” said Chad Shalahshour, president and CEO of 911Cellular. “We now plan to roll this out nationwide to colleges, universities, K-12 schools and other secure environments.”