There’s no shortage of campus safety apps out there, and that’s a good thing. One of the apps on offer is CBORD’s Pathlight app, which is being used, among other places, at North Dakota State University, where students can now leverage the campus safety service. Pathlight enables students, faculty and staff to request that university police “follow” them as they travel from one destination to the next.
According to a report from the Valley News Live, the app is part of the NDSU’s Personal Safety and Security Assist service. The app allows NDSU dispatchers to remotely track users on a monitor in the NDSU Police Communications Call Center once the user initiates a safety assist, for example, when a student is walking across campus alone at night. The police call center is staffed 24 hours a day year round.
To initiate a safety assist, students simply open the app, enter a destination and estimated travel time and select “Follow Me Now.” From there, an NDSU dispatcher is able to view the location of the user’s phone during the safety assist. If the student does not arrive at their destination within the designated timeframe, an alarm is sent to the dispatcher, who is able to view information regarding the individual.
The app has GPS capabilities that notify dispatchers where to go if and when a student doesn’t reach their destination within a time frame set by the student. Pathlight also provides a way to send a silent alarm when a user requests help. The app uses GPS as well as wireless networks, so dispatchers can locate a user’s phone at any time between the point of origin and designated destination.
Another primary reason for choosing CBORD’s Pathlight is that the app can tie in with university systems to pull up a student’s photo, meaning police can know in advance who to look for at the time of response.
In addition to sending an alarm when students don’t reach their destinations, the app provides a way for students to alert police when they don’t feel safe. If a student feels threatened, they can call quickly call police using the app. University officials stress that only those who download the Pathlight app will be tracked by police, and enrolled users can disable the service at any time.