New Campus Eye Smart Phone App Enhances UCM’s Safety Resources
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Dec. 11, 2013) – Taking advantage of smart phone technology, the University of Central Missouri is adding a new initiative to a growing number of resources designed to increase campus safety and awareness. UCM is the first higher education institution to implement The Campus Eye, an application now available for students, faculty and staff members to report pertinent information directly to the Office of Public Safety and/or to Facilities, Planning and Operations (FPO).
According to Kim Vansell, director of public safety, the university is working with TextCaster®, the provider of UCM’s current emergency text message service, to offer this free, downloadable app. The Campus Eye gives smart phone users the ability to create a note describing a safety or security incident on campus, and take or attach a photograph of the incident and send it to Public Safety or to FPO. The app automatically detects the GPS location of the user and creates a map with a pin drop of the user's exact location at the time the message is sent, and enables all content to be sent to respective departments with the sender's name and phone number along with the date and time of each report. Other app features let users set personal attributes. If a person is deaf or hard of hearing, visually impaired, or requires the use of a wheelchair, for example, that information can be made available to those receiving messages via The Campus Eye.
Vansell said The Campus Eye complements the “emergency (blue light) phones,” another important safety tool at UCM. These phones are placed at locations throughout the university, allowing individuals to push a button and speak directly to Public Safety, if they observe a potential safety risk or crime on campus.
From a Public Safety perspective, Vansell said “The Campus Eye is like having an emergency phone in your hand, but with other features. Should you need to communicate with Public Safety, this allows you to do that, but you also have the opportunity to call 9-1-1 or text Public Safety in one application.”
Chris Bamman, FPO director, said the app provides significant opportunities for buildings and grounds to be notified quickly of potential hazards on campus. With the possibility of severe weather this winter, now is a good time to make the app available.
“We are looking forward to the upcoming roll-out of the Campus Eye app,” said Bamman. “The use of the application will allow easier access to report safety concerns. The Campus Eye application, along with the ongoing use of our Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS), will offer expanded accessibility and simplified means of reporting critical safety concerns across the campus.”
The Office of University Relations has worked with Public Safety and FPO to make The Campus Eye service possible. Downloadable apps are available online for Android and Apple versions of smart phones at ucmo.edu/ps/. The same website also provides additional information about how to sign up for TextCaster®, Safe Team Escorts and additional details about personal safety and awareness at UCM.