Barton Community College has purchased two mobile phone applications for improved campus safety.
The college already subscribes to a service called Rave. It is known on campus as the Cougar Text Messaging and Alert System. Anyone can register to receive Rave Alerts. These are approved BCC emergency communications and other important information via text message and email. Most often, these are used for weather alerts.
Now the college has purchased two additional products from Rave, Dean of Administration Mark Dean said. The mobile phone apps Rave Panic and Rave Guardian are said to enhance safety on campus through real-time interactive features that create a virtual safety network of friends, family and Campus Security.
Rave Panic will be released to select employees.
An employee who pushes the “Panic” button automatically sends a call to 911, Campus Security and other select people on campus. The message can be customized to show if there is a medical problem or another type of danger. It will also tell the recipients where the person sending the message is located.
Rave Guardian is available to all students, faculty and staff. Users who register may request a virtual safety escort by dialing the number and inputting the amount of time it should take for them to arrive at their destination. Upon safe arrival, they call Rave Guardian and deactivate the timer. If they don’t deactivate the timer before it expires, Campus Security will be notified.
Students can identify Campus Safety, friends, roommates and family as “guardians” when setting their Rave Guardian Safety Timer. Other features of the app include user-created profiles that contain information such as residence details and medical conditions.
The topic of enhanced campus security was addressed last November, when Barton officials heard recommendations from Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir and others.
“It became clear that the next step would be to take an incremental approach,” Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman told the BCC Board of Trustees recently.
Other steps have been taken to improve campus security. Barton’s top security officer, Lucas Stoelting, met with responders from the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and Great Bend Police Department for ideas. The college purchased new training software for Campus Security officers. BCSO Lt. Steve Billinger will conduct drills on the Run, Hide, Fight strategies for response in emergencies.
Dean said it will take time to come up with a large-scale campus security plan.
“It can’t be done without years worth of planning,” he said. “We’ll start small and grow from what we’ve learned.”
A video about Rave Guardian can be seen online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki5pLDgif_s&feature=youtu.be,