WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – It’s called “Wilkes Shield” – the newest lifeline at Wilkes University aimed at strengthening campus security.
“We’re always kind of scanning the safety environment across the country to see what new things are emerging,” said Wilkes University Police Chief Christopher Jagoe.
The univeristy recently launched this free phone application that enables students and staff to report emergencies. Ohio company “911 Cellular” developed the app. The company’s technology is based on an indoor positioning system that officials say provides pinpoint accuracy when a call or text is made to police using the app.
With people on high alert following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Wilkes security wants to spread word about this tool.
“The interesting thing with this app is it allows you to see something, do something,” said Jagoe.
You can shoot a photo or video with your phone and send it to Wilkes University public safety. Communications officers will get the alert and respond right away.
The app also features a friend-watch system that allows users to designate friends to look after them when they are walking alone.
“Once you start the timer, your friends are informed of where you are going and how long it’s going to take you and they get text message notifications as you are going along,” said Cody Morcom, a senior. He says students have been downloading the app and using the peer-to-peer safety service.
“I know that people know where I am. That’s the most important thing,” said Morcom.
911 cellular allows campuses to tailor the app so it suits each colleges individual needs. University police hope it’s a tool students will continue to use.