Sometimes, walking as fast as you can to escape the wind or rain takes priority over monitoring your surroundings. But it’s crucial to stay alert. Fortunately, there are some great security tools that can help.
The Rave Guardian App gives you access to emergency resources, allows friends and family to track you on your way home, and provides a direct connection between you and the police.
A Profile of Safety
To get started, download the app and log in with your University credentials. Click on your profile avatar to enter your preferred email and phone number. While you’re at it, add your photo, work location, vehicle information, and emergency contacts to your profile. This will automatically update the Emergency Notification System, and—if you’ve allowed profile sharing—lets Pitt Police see this information when you call or message them from the app.
Stay Safe in Real Time with a Safety Timer
Ever ask someone to call you when they get home? A Rave Safety Timer goes way past that. It’s a great alternative to other apps, like Find My Friends, because it’s timed and connected. Here’s how it works:
- Set a timer for how long it should take you to walk or drive somewhere—up to four hours.
- Make sure you’ve enabled location sharing.
- Invite someone to track your progress—use the contacts in your phone to make it easy.
- Guardians monitor your location in real time. They don’t need the app—they'll use a web link.
- When you arrive, cancel the timer to let your Guardian know that you made it safely.
What if you walk slowly, stop for a Starbucks, or hit bad traffic? You can always add extra time— the app even lets you know when your timer is about to expire, so you can extend it.
If your timer runs out before you cancel it, it won’t automatically call the police. Your Guardian will get a notification with several options: ignore it, contact you, or call the authorities.
Quick Call the Pitt Police or 9-1-1
When you Call Pitt Police through Rave, you can share your previously created profile, so they’ll have your information when responding. It’s quick and easy—just tap the Call Pitt Police button and then Place Call. The app also includes the option to Call 911 if you’re not on campus.
Wondering when to call 9-1-1 and when to contact Pitt Police? The protocol is that if the incident happens on campus, call Pitt Police. If it’s off campus, call 9-1-1. That being said, Pitt Police often helps with incidents in surrounding areas. “Our department patrols both campus and nearby off-campus areas 24/7, 365 days a year,” says Pitt Police Officer Guy Johnson.
Live Chat with Pitt Police
The Send a Tip feature allows you to live chat directly with the Pitt Police. If you don’t want identify yourself, click on Go Anonymous. You can choose from a wide range of categories, including: accident, assault, disturbance, harassment, hazing, mental health, theft, suspicious activity, traffic issue/safety concern, and more.
The option to chat without having to speak out loud—where others can overhear you—is a great asset. “People may find themselves in an uncomfortable or threatening situation, where they don’t want to let the person know they are calling the police ... they can send a tip directly to our communications room,” Office Johnson explains.
And it’s not just for emergencies. Officer Johnson says that they’ve gotten “numerous complaints that are criminal in nature, as well as people just alerting us about unsafe or hazardous conditions through the app.” Not sure what to do about a situation? When in doubt, chat it out—the responder can help you figure out how to proceed.
Information and Resources at Your Fingertips
With Rave, the health and safety resources you need are one just tap away. The Phone Directory contains helpful numbers for emergency or non-urgent situations, so you can easily call SafeRider, Pitt Pharmacy, or the University Counseling Center. The Helpful Websites feature provides direct links to online resources, like the AED Campus Map, Emergency Management, Disability Resources, or reporting a Title IX incident.
Take your security into your own hands with all the features that the Rave Guardian App has to offer!
By Tabitha Barnes, Pitt Student IT Blogger