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Photo Courtesy of Temple University.
Photo Courtesy of Temple University.

Temple University launches new app to increase campus safety

The RAVE Temple Guardian app will offer virtual escorts, feature a panic button and text dispatch to the university's police department and 911.

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In an effort to increase campus safety for its students and faculty, Temple University has debuted a new app, RAVE Temple Guardian. 

The campus safety app will offer a variety of features, including virtual escorts, a panic button, and text dispatch to the university’s police department and 911.

“We have been working through the process of adding RAVE Temple Guardian to our campus safety toolbox for a few months now, and we’re really excited to see this come to fruition,” said Charles Leone, executive director of public safety at Temple. “This is both an efficient and effective way for us to easily know if one of our students is in need of assistance, and we believe the app will make a difference when it comes to enhancing campus safety.”

This is the first time the university’s Campus Safety Services office will use a mobile app.

The virtual escort feature will allow students to have TUPD monitor them as they walk from one place to another. The app will allow students to enter their starting location and receive a custom pin to enter once they reach their destination. TUPD will call students who don’t enter their pins after reaching their destination and send responders to their location if they don’t answer their call.

“The virtual safe walk is one of the most important features of the application, as it provides an entirely new layer of real-time monitoring for Campus Safety Services,” said Larry Brandolph, Temple’s interim chief information officer who helped launch the new app.

Students can also directly text with TUPD through the app, including sending pictures and videos to report any suspicious activity.

The university’s effort to increase campus safety is influenced by its high number of reported crimes within its campus radius, including the murder of 21-year-old political science major Samuel Collington during a suspected off-campus robbery in Nov. 2021. 

Between Jan. 17 and Feb. 14, Campus Safety Services received 99 reports of crimes within their jurisdiction, according to The Temple News’ crime dashboard.

The Temple News reported that TUPD is working with Drexel University to train dispatchers before allowing student access to the app, while Temple dispatchers are currently undergoing training to familiarize themselves with the features and design of the app.

Drexel began using the RAVE Guardian app during the 2016-17 academic year, with more than 30,000 students at the university currently using the app, according to Eileen Behr, chief of police and vice president of public safety at Drexel. 

RAVE Temple Guardian will only be available to students and faculty, but the university hopes to soon connect with other colleges and universities to expand its services.

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