UWF campus safety guide


Tyler Luong, Staff Writer

Lately, students have been reaching out to the UWF Police Department to ask what is being done to keep them safe, especially for those enrolled in night classes. At UWF, the safety and well-being of both students and faculty is the number one priority of the UWFPD.

That being said, it appears that many are unaware of the two safety initiatives that the University currently has in place. These initiatives come in the form of the Guardian Campus Safety app and the Argos Safety Escort.

The Guardian app is a service that lets the user inform the UWFPD or a chosen guardian of their current status, among other features, as they travel to their destination. The Argos Safety Escort, as the name implies, is an escort service that will have a student worker or police officer accompany the student wherever they need to go around campus.

The Guardian app is a phone application that can be downloaded for free through your phone’s designated app store; simply search for “RAVE Guardian” in the app store. It is available to all current students and faculty and requires the use of an email address associated with the school.

The way the Guardian app works is simple, it allows the user to choose someone in their contact list or the UWFPD to act as their guardian and monitor their status. Using the app will allow prompt and effortless communication between the user and their lifeline.

The user can set a timer, visible to the guardian, that will count down as he or she goes about their way. If the timer hits zero before the user reaches their destination or before they end it, the user’s guardian will immediately be notified.

If things are ahead or behind schedule, the user can add or subtract a minute to their timer. For those worried about forgetting to shut off their timer, fret not. The app will send you a reminder at the five-minute and one-minute mark. 

Additionally, both the user and guardian will receive a reminder when there are three minutes left on the clock.

If the UWFPD is chosen as the user’s designated guardian, there will be additional safety measures available to them that will facilitate a more efficient response. Most prominently, the UWFPD will be able to keep track of the user’s exact coordinates through their phone’s GPS, as well as allow access to the user’s safety profile. Additionally, the call log will display the PIN used to set the timer, allowing the UWFPD to verify the status of the person on the phone.

All it takes is five easy steps to set this up: 

  • Choose your designated guardian or guardians,
  • Explain what you’ll be doing or where you’re going so your guardian will know what to expect,
  • Set your timer for however long you think it’ll take,
  • Press the start time once you are ready,
  • End the timer once you arrive at your destination safely.

Another feature of the app is that it allows the user to report crimes, tips or any other suspicious activity anonymously.

Rave Mobile Safety, the developer behind the app, possesses the most up-to-date security technology and undergoes regularly scheduled audits to keep your information as secure as possible. The app was also designed in mind to respect the privacy of the user, and will only track the user’s information when the UWFPD is the user’s guardian, when the safety timer expires, or when the user makes an emergency call or reports a tip. Like all cellular services, factors may determine the accuracy of the app, including cell signal strength, dead spots, GPS settings, quality and type of phone and mobile carrier.

If you prefer a more personal approach, then the Argos Safety Escort is for you. The escort service is available around the clock on any day of the week.

To request an escort, simply call 850-474-2415 and let the dispatcher know you would like an escort. A student working for the UWFPD will be dispatched to your location to serve as your escort. If a student is not available, an officer will fill in for the student.

The escort service will be provided through one of three modes of transportation: foot, golf cart or squad car. The safety escort will also be easily identifiable through their photo ID and their green safety vest that should be labeled “UWF Safety Patrol” on the front. Golf carts used through the service will also be labeled with UWFPD decals.

Once contact has been made with the student escort, the escort should present a business card as one final verification of their identity. If you are still unsure and would like further verification of an escort’s identity, contact 850-474-2415 for further questions.

Again, not only are these services free for use, their use is strongly encouraged by the UWFPD.

If you or anyone you know is in distress or feeling unsafe, please don’t hesitate to contact the UWFPD at 850-474-2415. Your safety is their number one priority.

“Remember,” said UWF Police Chief Marc Cossich, “we’re here to help.”