The JCCC Guardian is a free smartphone application intended to help improve campus security. Developed by RAVE Mobile Safety, the application made its debut at the college in January 2016 for both Apple and Android users.
The JCCC Guardian is the first smartphone application to have been adopted and implemented by the college for safety purposes. Some of its key features include a panic button, which creates a direct immediate connection from your smartphone to Campus Safety with GPS location and personal profile information; tip texting, which allows users to report crime tips through text and images; and a safety timer, which alerts pre-selected contacts if the user fails to disarm the timer before the set time expires.
According to the JCCC website, “Johnson County Community College researched personal-safety apps for two years before deciding on Guardian to help protect the campus community.”
Alisa Pacer, emergency preparedness manager, talked about how the selection process transpired before making a final decision about choosing the Guardian application for use on campus.
“Multiple applications were researched along with vendor discussions,” Pacer said. “With our current positive relationship with RAVE Mobile Safety, Guardian was the right fit. It also integrates with the mass notification system that allows one more way for us to reach out to the campus in the event of an emergency.”
The process for introducing a campus safety app can take over a year. The process involves organizing meetings, carving out time for companies to visit the college and demonstrate their products, field testing those products and budgeting for hardware required to use them according to Dan Robles, crime prevention officer at the college.
“It takes a long time,” Robles said. “We do have a relationship with [RAVE Mobile Safety] and if the sales people say, ‘Hey, this is compatible with the other systems you have here and it will save our college some money, we’ll go ahead and go with it.’ We’re not favoring anybody, they just won out. When we do stuff like this, we have to put bids out. If it’s over a certain amount of money, it has to be put out on a bid.”
Robles says that it is difficult to pinpoint whether or not the application has statistically lowered the rate of crime, but says it has given people another tool at their disposal.
“They need to follow the guidelines we taught them from way back even when you were a kid and I was a little kid; stranger danger, going places with buddies, staying out of poorly lit areas, areas that have blight, etc,” Robles said. “Anything you can build on top of that like this app is a good thing to have.”
Anyone can download the RAVE Guardian application for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play for their mobile devices. After signing up using a JCCC email address, users can access campus features of the application. For more information, visit the JCCC website, go to the “Student Resources” tab, look for “Police & Safety,” and the link to a webpage for the JCCC Guardian.