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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

LRPD activates Rave Guardian, personal safety application
RAVE Guardian app, both on iOS and Android, offers ways to contact the police and family members in the case of an emergency. Photo by Freedom Riley | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

by Alex Cortez | Staff Writer | [email protected]

To ensure safety and timely emergency alerts on all campuses, in February the Los Rios Police Department activated Rave Guardian, a personal safety application that helps organizations like the LRPD connect to their communities.

Rave Mobile Safety, a software company based in Massachusetts, designed Rave Guardian to send out alerts to specific locations when needed and make resources easily accessible by syncing users’ Los Rios accounts to the app.

“Students have the option of creating a profile that will display if they call campus police (to report an incident),” said Katharine Dahl, senior director of product marketing for Rave Mobile.

Dahl also said goals for Rave Guardian were transparency about how users information is shared, and letting users control over information they share.

“For example, other things students can configure is that they don’t have to share their location if they don’t feel comfortable doing so,” said Dahl.

Most features rely on location sharing for geo-targeted push notifications, according to the Rave Mobile Safety website. The safety timer lets users choose contacts in their phones—called guardians—who can track users’ movements for a specific amount of time from five minutes to four hours. Users can extend the time on the timer by up to five minutes, remove a minute, or stop the timer at any moment.

“Students can select a safety timer based on campus preferences,” said Dahl. “Some campuses may have it configured to where they can notify an official guardian (like campus police) as well as a social guardian like a peer or parent.”

The Los Rios system allows for both types of guardians.If the timer expires, both official and social guardians will get a warning to check on the user and call police if there’s no response.

Los Rios district Chief of Police Larry Savidge said setting LRPD as a guardian will help district police to keep the community safe.

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The call directory is another feature of the app that works with the user’s preferred campus. Those who primarily attend classes at the City College main campus will have in their directories, among others, the numbers to Trevor Project, WEAVE, Veterans Crisis Line, Title IX, Sexual Harassment, ADA and equity officers.

When users open the app, the home screen also has the ability to call LRPD and the Sacramento Police Department. Savidge said it’s great for students and faculty to have safety resources at the touch of a button.

“It provides the community with another tool to stay in touch with us,” said Savidge. “If they have any problems or concerns, they can contact us through Rave Guardian.”

City College Communications and Public Information Officer Kaitlyn MacGregor said she likes another method Rave Guardian has to get help.

“If you’re in an instance where you don’t feel safe making a call and verbalizing, you can also text,” said MacGregor.

This is possible with the 911 texting feature,  which allows anonymity and provides a list of potential incidents users can select—from an active shooter to harassment and stalking, to damage to property, auto accident or theft.

Safa Allababidi, an interior architecture major, said she makes sure to stay safe by never being alone, having the LRPD number in her phone, walking with her boyfriend and finding safe places to park near City College.

Allababidi said she likes that rave alerts in the past gave descriptions about a suspect and if they had been found, but she felt hopeful about what Rave Guardian can also accomplish.

“I’ve never personally experienced anything, but I know people who have,” said Allababidi. “Sometimes people don’t think something will happen, and when it does, they’re unprepared.”

Rave Guardian is free to download in the Apple app store and Google Play store. Students and faculty can text “Guardian” to 67283 to receive a download link, Dahl said.  

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