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University of Arkansas Turns to SafeZone to Enhance Student Safety

 The University of Arkansas main campus consists of 378 buildings spread across 512 acres and is home to almost 30,000 students and 4,500 staff. To safeguard this community, the University of Arkansas Police Department (UAPD) reviewed available technologies for command and control, officer safety, emergency response, and managing special events. After a careful review, they selected CriticalArc’s SafeZone solution to help protect their campus community.

The Challenge

The University of Arkansas promotes a welcoming, safe environment so that students and staff can thrive as they learn and pursue new ideas. To build on existing safety measures, UAPD wanted to update the technology being used on campus for public safety – including emergency call and response, lone worker protection, and mass communications. They needed a solution with user privacy measures and features to encourage sign-up among students and staff. They also wanted a technology to support command and control capabilities for team coordination and fast response in the event of incidents such as active pursuits and medical emergencies.

SafeZone Solution

UAPD selected CriticalArc’s SafeZone technology given the multiple functions it combines into a unified solution. The UAPD Communication’s Center uses SafeZone’s OmniGuard command and control functions to show more precisely where officers and supporting personnel are, leading to more prompt emergency response and coordination, with notable successes on several incidents. For example, officers safely apprehended several suspects following active pursuits because dispatchers were able to see their exact locations, whether on foot or in vehicle, and coordinate back-up.

During a recent medical emergency at a crowded SEC football game, the emergency operations center was able to guide paramedics to the scene using SafeZone’s geo-location capability. UAPD also uses SafeZone during sporting events to know when visiting teams and referees are arriving, and manage traffic controls.

Likewise, when a member of the campus community was at risk of being swept away during a flash-flood close to campus, due in part to the officer on scene being geo-located by OmniGuard, UAPD was able to coordinate with the local swift water rescue and fire department to provide life-saving response.

Community engagement and sign-up to SafeZone is progressing. The technology is designed to be easy to use, emphasizes user privacy, and offers features to support fast response for officers. Several students have used SafeZone’s anonymous tip reporting feature which allows students to report their concerns in a discreet manner.

Benefits and Outcomes

SafeZone has facilitated engagement between UAPD and the community, prioritizing student wellbeing. The technology is designed to be easy to use in an effort to increase adoption among students. UAPD has also found SafeZone to be a cost-effective solution in response to requests for panic alarms from students, faculty and staff across campus.

SafeZone supports the following at leading universities:

  • Team coordination and response to emergencies, with the locations of security personnel and support staff visible to the command center team.
  • Lone worker protection 24/7 for those at heightened risk, including staff and students working at night.
  • Visibility of all checked-in users to ensure rapid response to incidents.
  • Streamlined operations into a unified solution.
UAPD is dedicated to protect and serve the University of Arkansas campus community. We rely on a variety of tools including SafeZone to provide us with the situational awareness we need, and the command and control capability to coordinate, and deploy our team of officers.
Captain Gary Crain, University of Arkansas Police Department

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