NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A mobile phone app designed to protect users wherever they go is now available to Stephen F. Austin State University students and staff.
The SFA chief of police said it's like having your own personal police officer.
Iphone and Android devices can give SFA students, faculty, and staff access to the free Lumberjack Guardian mobile app. It provides the user several personal protection features.
"Safety Timer," said Chief Marc Cossich of SFA's Department of Public Safety. "And then you have your panic button and the guardians are your friends."
The safety timer feature lets users tell their personal guardians they're headed to a particular destination. A GPS is enacted. A timer is set which is synced with the friend on the other end. Technology directors are even impressed.
"You can even chat with them right inside here and say, 'Hey, I'm OK.' And whenever you are done, you feel like you're safe, you can actually deactivate the timer," said Jared Roten, the technology director for SFA's Department of Public Safety.
However if you do nothing, someone will know right away you may need help.
"It's calling the police and also alerting your friend," Cossich said.
The panic button is available too.
"No matter where you are, anywhere in the world you hit that button we're going to be able to find out where you are and get you help, so we can find where you are without you telling us," Cossich said.
Yet another feature allows tip texting, sort of a mobile Crime Stoppers.
"Here's the Send the Tip option. These are completely anonymous," Roten said. "We've really done some thorough testing to make sure it is. You choose what subject based on what you saw. Let's say you saw a theft. You can take a picture."
The chief pointed out there's no Big Brother looking over anyone as the information can't be accessed until there's an emergency. That's when you want to be found.
The Lumberjack Guardian is accessed through the Rave Guardian app in your app store. SFA users can type in their SFA address, and the Lumberjack Guardian version will appear. The University DPS also wants users to know this app is separate from JackAlerts. Users can access Lumberjack Guardian by going to this Website.