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IFSEC Insider, formerly IFSEC Global, is the leading online community and news platform for security and fire safety professionals.
October 12, 2023

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Texas university enhances student safety and wellbeing support with SafeZone Platform

Texas A&M University-Kingsville, a campus with over 9,000 students and staff, use SafeZone technology from CriticalArc for increased safety and wellbeing. 

SafeZone aims to help organisations act faster and more effectively if incidents of any scale arise.

As part of its vision to become a smart campus, Texas A&M University-Kingsville invested in advanced safety technologies with CriticalArc. The university believes protocols for the student experience and safety of students and staff would be optimised through digital transformation.

University community gets access to emergency response 

The app, from CriticalArc, aims to make it easier for students to request immediate assistance with a single tap on their smartphones, whether for emergency help, reporting a concern, or accessing support services.

When a user activates a duress button on the SafeZone app, their identity and location are said to be instantly shared with campus police. First responders are also said to be notified in real-time, enabling a coordinated response. The system is then designed to initiate two-way communications with the user and first responders.

The app aims to be a user-friendly, accessible tool for every member of the university community, the firm said.

Users are also said to be protected when they are off-site with SafeZone’s Safety Everywhere, designed to protect users on campus, taking part in athletics or academic events at other locations, or working and travelling abroad.

“We take the safety of our students and staff extremely seriously at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. With the integration of the SafeZone platform, we are reinforcing our commitment to providing a secure and supportive campus environment,” said Julian Cavazos, Chief of Police at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. “This cutting-edge technology will enable our students to feel safer, knowing that our police team is always there to assist them.”

The university is said to conduct regular drills, training sessions, and security audits to assess and refine emergency response protocols. SafeZone aims to be the key enabler for the police department, improving response efficiency, reassuring students, and ensuring the best outcomes in emergency situations.


Further listening: IFSEC Global Podcast: Episode 7 – Analysing school shootings, violence & threat prevention through behavioural psychology 


Fostering safety and security 

The university is encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to download and use the SafeZone application, which is available free on iTunes or Google Play stores.

Julian Cavazos added that by using SafeZone, every member of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville community can become an active participant in fostering a secure, supportive, and welcoming campus: “By embracing this technology and working together, we can create an environment where students can focus on their academic pursuits, personal development and wellbeing without concerns about safety.”

Darren Chalmers-Stevens, CriticalArc’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Universities, healthcare providers and major organizations across the U.S. are adopting SafeZone technology, ensuring that they can take better care of their people, respond rapidly to any situation, and deal with any incidents more effectively.”

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