Tulsa Company Tests Safety App On NSU Campus

Tuesday, October 4th 2011, 5:13 pm

By: News On 6

Craig Day, News On 6

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -- It seems like new apps for smart phones are coming out every day. A new one developed by a Tulsa company is designed to keep college students safe. It will soon be tested on the Northeastern State University campus in Tahlequah.

Stephanie Weygandt plans to sign up for it and thinks many other students will too.

"I think mostly girls will, but I think everybody could get use out of it," Weygandt said.

The "Personal Guardian", developed by Illume Mobile in Tulsa, enables NSU police to track the location of your phone by GPS.

It only works when you activate it, so police can't constantly monitor your movements. But when students want to use it, the app has three modes. One is a danger mode.

"That's when things are serious. You're in an emergency situation you need an officer there right now," said Patti Buhl, NSU Police Chief.

You hit a button, police are notified, and dispatch instantly knows your GPS location. The "follow me" mode, tracks students to make sure they safely get from one location on campus to another. That's the option Stephanie Weygandt likes most.

"It's hard to study at the dorms at night, so studying at the Library and walking back and forth, it kind of gets scary so, yeah, I like it," Wygandt said.

"It's just a little peace of mind for the user to know that our dispatch is monitoring from point a to point b," Buhl said.

The check-in feature, for longer trips, could be especially useful during bad weather. If students don't make it to their destination by a preset time, police are alerted, and can use the GPS tracker to get help to the student if it's needed.

"As a parent, my child going to college, I think knowing these things are in place, to help keep them safe, would just give me more peace of mind," Buhl said.

NSU is the first college to use the app, which is available for iPhone or Android touch screen phones. It will also be available for students and faculty at NSU campuses in Broken Arrow and Muskogee.


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