To give students, faculty and staff of the University of North Georgia (UNG) greater control over personal safety while on campus, the university's Department of Public Safety has released the Nighthawks Guardian app.
"Many universities have begun using variations of this app," said Greg Williams, coordinator for emergency preparedness at UNG. "Nighthawks Guardian ties in with our UNG alert system, and links to a central monitoring point in our dispatch center. This functionality, as well as the features the app offers, are important to more than just our students — parents and administration are glad to have it as well."
The app enables users to better manage their safety in several ways:
- The ability to designate "guardians," specific people whom the user trusts
- An in-app message service to communicate with guardians
- Safety timers, which allow users to set an amount of time on their phone when about to go out or engage in other activities. If the users do not "check in" on their phone before the timer expires, the app will send an alert to the user's guardians
- The ability to send an anonymous tip to the UNG Police Department
- A direct link to call the UNG Police Department
To install the app, users can simply go to iTunes or the Google Play Store on their phones and search for "Rave Guardian." Upon installing the app and registering it with an official UNG email address, the app will change into Nighthawks Guardian. There is also an icon for Nighthawks Guardian on the "current students" section of the UNG Mobile App.
Also, to build trust and understanding with officers of UNG's Department of Public Safety, students on UNG's Gainesville Campus are encouraged to attend Coffee with the Cops on Monday, Aug. 29, from 8-9 a.m. in the Student Center. At the event, students will be able to get to know the officers patrolling that campus in a social setting.