Cal State East Bay launches safety app for students

Cal State East Bay is launching a safety app for its students, faculty and staff. School officials say it's easy to use and provides peace of mind. With a smartphone and the Rave Guardian app, students can quickly get help or send a tip to campus police.

"You give them an app that they can have on their phone and they're actually going to use it. They're so tech savvy," said CSUEB Police Chief Sheryl Boykins.

Translating tech savvy to safety savvy is the goal of this free new app. By touching the panic button, a person can alert campus police or 911.

"We're going to get your GPS location and your profile information," said Desi Calzada, CSUEB Police Administrative Manager.

As long as there's internet connection, school officials say the app will work.

"Anywhere they go...the app can go." said Calzada. If the student is off campus or even out of state, campus police will notify the nearest law enforcement agency.

Another function of the app is a safety timer. For example, a student walking to their dorm can set the timer for the estimated length of the trip.
"The timer allows you the comfort of knowing that someone is tracking your location," said Calzada. Upon safe arrival, the student deactivates the timer.

But if the student doesn't arrive within the estimated time, a text alert will go out to a person the student designates.If the student designates campus police, an alarm will sound at police dispatch.

"I would use it just because I live in the dorms and I don't always have a ride home," said Emerald Sanderlin, a CSUEB student. School officials say the safety timer function also works off campus.
"I walk home from work sometimes and I do get scared especially the weather and how dark it gets so I would actually like it because if I feel unsafe I can let my friend know," said Jennifer Vo, a CSUEB Student.

Students say as long as they get to designate who gets the alerts and when, they plan to use the app.
"I feel like it's better than you tell your friends, text me when you get home, people forget. I feel like the app will make sure we're not worried. We know that you got home," said Gianna Thomas, CSUEB student.

The app also allows students to send tips to police through text message and photos.

School officials tell KTVU San Jose State and other college campuses around the country are also using this app.

Even people who are not part of a college campus can use a version of this app. You can check it out yourself if you go to the Rave Guardian website.