../Morning Post
Posted April 11, 2011

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Safety

Laurier implements text-messaging system to improve campus safety

WATERLOO - Wilfrid Laurier University is introducing a text-messaging system to help improve campus safety.

The CampusAssist system allows anyone with a mobile phone to alert Laurier’s Special Constable Service to a safety concern or criminal activity on or near Laurier’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses and the Faculty of Social Work site in Kitchener.

Individuals can send a text message to the communication centre operated by Laurier’s Special Constable Service. The message initiates a two-way communication with a dispatch officer, and Laurier’s Special Constable Service will respond as needed.
Signs providing instructions and the text call number — 78247 — will be posted in prominent locations in and around Laurier facilities.

“Laurier takes a proactive approach to campus safety,” said Rod Curran, director of Laurier’s Special Constable Service. “With the widespread use of mobile phones and text messaging, this new system empowers individuals by giving them quick access to security and safety services when they are needed.”

CampusAssist is a web-based software provided by GuestAssist, which offers similar text- messaging safety services at stadiums, airports and other large public venues.

Laurier is the first post-secondary institution in Canada to implement this service. In 2010, the International Association of Chiefs of Police honoured Laurier’s Special Constable Service with the association’s Excellence in Technology Award. The award recognized a number of innovative technology initiatives, including Laurier’s comprehensive campus safety surveillance network.

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