Stephen F. Austin State University

News

SFA offers new safety-focused app

August 18, 2015 - University Marketing Communications
Lumberjack Guardian app screenshot
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University Department of Public Safety (DPS) recently launched the Lumberjack Guardian mobile phone app to enhance campus safety through real-time interactive features creating a virtual safety network of friends, family and the DPS.

Lumberjack Guardian fits into today's mobile lifestyle with its virtual technology.

"We at the Department of Public Safety are pleased to offer this app technology feature to our university community to better enhance campus safety and personal protection by providing immediate connections to trusted resources," Marc Cossich, DPS chief of police, said.

Lumberjack Guardian is available for iPhone and Android devices and is free to download. Students, faculty and staff members can download the app by selecting the Rave Guardian app in the appropriate app store.

The app is designed with four safety features: safety profile, panic button, tip texting, and personal guardians and safety timer.

Upon opening the app, users must create their personal profile by entering their SFA-issued email address and phone number. Safety profiles are user-created and contain information such as residence details and medical information. Individuals' profile data is privately and securely stored within Rave Mobile Safety's databases. The information is shared with pre-designated personal contacts and/or safety officials only when users initiate an alert or a set safety timer expires.

The panic button alerts DPS to the user's exact location using GPS services and delivers the user's personal information from the safety profile to DPS.

Tip texting enables anonymous two-way communication and crime-tip reporting through text and images.

The personal guardians and safety timer offers two functions. Users can assign anyone they trust the role of "Guardian" through the app, including friends, family and DPS. During a timer session, guardians can ensure the user reaches his or her destination in the allotted time frame. For example, if a student was going on a date, he or she could set a timer for an hour. If the timer goes off or is not deactivated by the user at the end of the hour the app notifies the user's guardian. Then, the guardian can try to contact the user or the DPS.

Furthermore, the guardian will automatically receive the user's Lumberjack Guardian profile to proactively identify and check in on the individual.

"The Department of Public Safety has researched this technology and found that the benefits offered to our university community are immeasurable and give our stakeholders a tangible indicator of the university's commitment to personal safety," Cossich said.

Lumberjack Guardian supplements the JackAlert system already in place at SFA. JackAlert notifies the SFA community of major emergencies and class cancelations, while Lumberjack Guardian serves as a personal safety system.

Cossich encourages the SFA community to sign up for both systems.

Anyone who needs assistance with the Lumberjack Guardian app or registering for JackAlerts can contact the Department of Public Safety technology division at updtech@sfasu.edu or (936) 468-2252.