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New app aimed at keeping UT Tyler's campus safer

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TYLER (KYTX) - A brand new program about to be rolled out this week at UT Tyler is hoping to cut down on crime and bring students in direct communication with police.  

This entire new safety plan sits in the palm of each student's hand.  It's called the Patriot Guardian Safety App, which can be searched for under "Rave Guardian." You can download it on any type of smart phone. The purpose is to give students peace of mind that they're safer on campus, and police peace of mind that they can get to any crime victim sooner than later. 

Fourth year UT Tyler student Cody Griffin says even on a pretty safe campus, walks to and from night classes and study sessions can get creepy.  

"I haven't heard of too many problems around here, but every campus does have problems!" he says.

So when we told him that his school was about to adopt Rave Guardian, he installed it immediately and saw the apps three options.

"You've got timer, guardians, and then emergency," he points out on his phone.

The "guardians" you add to the app can be friends, family, study partners and of course campus police, who will be alerted if you end up in trouble.

The emergency option allows you to make quick calls or texts to report a crime, call 9-1-1, or call campus police.

"That's nice. Some people might not know campus police number but they can just click the button and it will automatically call them," Griffin says.

Last, there's the timer option, which is UT Tyler Police Chief Mike Medders' favorite part of the app.

"If you want to set a safety timer for yourself and you know you're going somewhere, it's going to take you 15 minutes to get there, if for some reason you haven't deactivated that timer, you can have police or guardians notified," Chief Medders explains. 

We set up a fake test timer with a real student named Brittany, who let her timer run out.  It immediately alerts police with a siren on their computer system.  

"I'm going to click on that case and it's going to bring up the fact that it's an expired timer and it's also going to bring up her GPS location," Medders explains.

Next, Medders calls Brittany, who in a real siMedders, may be in trouble.  

"Brittany, this is University Police, are you okay?"
"Yes I am!"
Medders then asks for her four digit pin number. 

She responds, "4-3-2-1."

If the caller recites the wrong PIN, he sends an officer to the location immediately.  

"Very awesome!" Griffin says.

It's a system he hopes will keep the campus he loves safe.  

You don't have to be a student to download this app or be a part of a Guardian Network. You can just sign in, let the app know you're not part of a school, and still be allowed to join a student's Guardian Network.

University police plan to officially launch the app at freshman orientation this Friday, but it is technically available to start using now.  Just search "Rave Guardian" and click install.  It's free for anyone to use. 

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