Cell phones improve campus security

WASHINGTON—Nearly 90 percent of Americans age 18 to 29 years old own a cell phone, according to a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Harnessing the growth in cell phone use by college students is one of the ways the department of public safety here at American University is improving safety on its campus.

At the beginning of the school year, American University began using a cell phone alerting system, which enables students to directly contact campus safety in the case of an incident through a preprogrammed number on their cell phone. To register for this service, students create a user profile that provides campus security with the student’s cell phone number, photograph and other personal information. When campus dispatch receives an alert, they are provided with the student’s profile as well as their location using the cell phone’s GPS capabilities. 

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