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Cleveland State University launched a new smartphone app today that identifies a user's location and sends an alert signal to campus police, all with the touch of a button.
"As one of the safest universities in Ohio, we regularly look to stay ahead of emerging new technologies, and this is a big step forward," Stephanie McHenry, vice president of Business Affairs & Finance at CSU, told 19 Action News. "This provides us with an added layer of security for our students, faculty and staff."
The app, appropriately named the Viking Shield and produced by Beachwood based company 911Cellular, is the first of its kind anywhere in the nation, and is wired into the campus police computer system so that when an alert is issued, the user's phone automatically transmits a signal to police, allowing dispatchers to respond immediately.
It also offers a variety of other benefits, including the capability to send texts, photos, and video of suspicious activity directly to police, and, in extreme situations, the app can even message all of its users at once with campus-wide safety instructions.
Viking Shield can additionally store important medical information about its users, such as allergies, blood types and medications that could be useful for first responders.
"We've had enormous success developing and refining this system at CSU," said Chad Shalahshour, president and CEO of 911Cellular told 19 Action News. "We now plan to roll this out nationwide to colleges, universities, K-12 schools and other secure environments."