When Illinois Central College began fall semester classes in August, ICC Campus Police officials hope that students and employees returned to a safer campus.

As a proactive measure to help ensure the safety of ICC students and employees, the college launched ICC Guardian, a free app designed by Rave Mobile Safety that turns any smartphone into a personal safety device. 

“The college launched Guardian in mid-to-late August,” said Tom Larson, ICC Campus Police chief. “We timed it for the beginning of the new semester.”

By providing ICC Guardian users with a direct line to on-campus emergency dispatchers, Larson believes the application will greatly improve the response time to on-campus emergencies.

“If you were to dial 911 from a regular phone, that call would go to either the East Peoria Police Department or the Peoria Police Department,” said Larson. “We think it’s in everyone’s best interests to contact us directly, because we have police officers right here on campus.”

ICC Guardian users must enter their telephone numbers and ICC email addresses when setting up ICC Guardian accounts. Users can then create profiles of pertinent personal information, like a list of emergency contacts or medical information, that is shared with campus police if the user calls or texts for help in an emergency. They also will have the option of sharing their current location. Additionally, users can easily send anonymous texts to share information or photos, but not their identity, with police. 

“We’re always looking for new ways and technology to boost security,” said ICC Campus Police Lt. Erika Schwiderski. “The safety and security of the ICC community is a top priority for us, and we felt Guardian would help with that.”

ICC chose to work with Rave Mobile Safety partly because the company created the MyAlert emergency notification system the school uses, said Larson. Guardian is available to ICC students and employees on Apple and Android mobile devices by searching for “Rave Guardian” in the app stores.

In addition to allowing users to communicate directly with on-campus emergency services, ICC Guardian provides a school phone directory and links to school websites. 

“Although it’s not the app’s primary use, we’ve found that a lot of employees are using the directory feature because they can look up a number for any department in the college and have the app direct-dial it for them,” Larson said.

For more information on the Guardian app, visit raveguardian.com or contact ICC Campus Police at 309-694-5223.