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Bobcat Guardian app tackles campus crime

Bobcat Guardian app
Texas State students now have the opportunity to utilize the Bobcat Guardian app, which is intended to improve safety on campus.
Photo by: Abdul Qasem | Staff Photographer

The administration at Texas State University, in conjunction with student government and the University Police Department, has launched the Bobcat (Rave) Guardian app—a system designed to enhance safety on campus by using virtual safety network.

The GPS-driven device allows users to set up personal profiles, quickly send anonymous tips to safety personnel and contains various features to ensure campus safety.

Users can set a safety timer feature that will immediately alert designated guardians if the timer is not deactivated by the user within the set time frame. One use for this feature is for a student walking home through campus after dark. The student would turn off the timer when he or she arrived home safely.

“If you’re in emergency or in distress, use the call button,” said Sgt. Rolando Belmares with University Police Department. “All you have to do is push one button and it will automatically send a signal to our dispatch center and it’ll give us a GPS signal of your location, so we can immediately dispatch officers to that location,”

Texas State is one of 1,400 universities that offer the Rave Guardian Technologies’ services to its students in order to improve campus security.

Rave Security Technologies’ aims to make security software products for a variety of uses in the healthcare industry and in education and allows university communities to actively participate in safety initiatives for all members.

 “(The app) is just not for campus,” said Lt. Alex Villalobos. “It could be where ever you’re at across the United States.”

The app is offered to anyone affiliated with the university, but members of the university community can select individuals outside of campus as guardians.

The app operates with a combination of GPS tracking technology, mobile communication timing and partners with police departments on college campuses.

The desire for additional safety features that led the university to adopt the Rave Guardian system came from a combination of student concern and a push by student government, as well as UPD and the administration.

“This was in the works long before I got here, but I can tell that student government led the way in doing it because we heard from students that safety was a concern of theirs,” said Connor Clegg, political science junior and student government chief of staff. “So it’s big with UPD and it’s big with the administration, and those two kind of worked together to make it happen.”

Clegg said he wants to include a presentation of the app at student orientation to highlight the university safety measures being taken on campus.

“I think from an institutional standpoint, Texas State is aggressive when it comes to safety,” Villalobos said. “The app is just another level of resource that we offer to our university community, among many.”