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Campus beta-testing of new safety device underway

PoM fobThe protective power of the blue-light emergency phones dotting the Creighton University campus could soon be in the palm of every student’s hand. Partnering with the Peace of Mind Company, Creighton hopes next academic year to provide a device the size of a key fob with a direct voice link to Public Safety’s emergency dispatcher or, if outside of a defined geographic area, to the nearest 911 dispatcher, anywhere in the nation.

Mike Reiner, director of the Public Safety, said the device, which pairs to a smartphone using Bluetooth technology, is another step the University is taking to keep students safe.

“It’s an additional measure of safety and security for the entire Creighton community,” Reiner said. “When it comes to campus safety, we have a robust, proactive system in place. This provides students, faculty and staff with one more way to feel secure and know that they have a direct line to our dispatcher.”

Once activated, the device calls dispatch and allows the activator to talk with the Public Safety emergency dispatcher through a microphone and speaker in the device. Dispatchers are also able to track the exact location of the student and access a personal profile.

“There is no fumbling in your pocket to grab your cell phone, no delay while you try to open an app,” said Reiner. “In the winter, you have the added layer of gloves or mittens that could make it even more difficult to quickly contact Public Safety in an emergency. This device gives you an instant connection for help, wherever you are.”

Beta testing of the device is underway with representatives from the Peace of Mind Company. Over the next few weeks, volunteer students and staff members will conduct a variety of tests to ensure the device will meet the needs of our community.

If all goes well, Reiner said, Creighton plans to provide a device to every undergraduate student in the fall. Graduate and professional students, faculty and staff will be able to purchase the device.

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