The future of campus security may soon lie in the hands of a smartphone app.
Las Vegas-based IQ Onsite developed Campus Ping, an app that is designed to open lines of communication between students, faculty and security during emergency and nonemergency situations.
Campus Ping allows faculty to send a silent alarm to alert security of threatening situations, gives security the opportunity to send alerts to faculty and students, provides direct messaging for on- or off-campus notifications, and allows students to have direct access to security at any given moment.
“If they’re in proximity of campus and experience suspicious behavior or an active shooter, something that would warrant the need for assistance, they can hit this silent alarm, which will be sent to safety officials who can then identify their location and dispatch an officer,” said Jim Beckmann, IQ Onsite founder and president. “The users are important because they’re the ones bringing these situations to the attention of campus safety officials and making the school environment a safer place.”
In addition to its safety and security features, Beckmann said parents can opt in to receive alerts from more than one school in a particular district based on their interests such as after-school events, early release notifications and parent-teacher association meetings.
“They can be customized to the family’s interest so they’re not saturated with messages and are only receiving relevant information,” he said. “It’s complemented by the ability to engage the schools if they have a question, comment or concern.”
In early January, IQ Onsite launched its first two pilot programs for Campus Ping at the Florida-based Volusia County School District and Daytona State College.
Beckmann said IQ Onsite, which has a location in Daytona Beach, Fla., decided to open a Las Vegas office on South Jones Boulevard last year in order to have a presence on the West Coast.
“We want to present this opportunity to Southern Nevada prospects including Clark County,” he said. “Once we have participating schools and colleges, our plan is to hire locally and build new jobs in the areas of software engineering, programming and customer service.”
According to Beckmann, Campus Ping is a free program to school districts and college campuses as it’s underwritten by corporate partners.
If it’s free, then what’s taken the Clark County School District so long to sign up?
“I’ve already met with Clark County School District officials and they were interested in the product, but because it has a unique feature that enables parents and students to engage with the school, they’re not prepared to face the incoming amount of inquiries that will be made,” Beckmann said. “They don’t have the available resources at the moment to respond.”
Beckmann said he’s focused on spreading the word about Campus Ping and inviting colleges and school districts to sign up for a pilot program, which gives them a limited amount of time to test the product.
“We have to earn their business by proving ourselves,” he said. “We’d love for Clark County and other Nevada counties to take advantage of it.”
Beckmann said Campus Ping will give parents the opportunity to be more engaged in their child’s education and keep them informed as well as bring situations to the attention of campus safety officials.
“We’re using technology in a positive way for families to work together and on the safety side, engaging students and faculty to have a safer environment to work and learn in,” he said. “Knowledge is power and if we can extend more tools to parents for them to engage in their child’s education then that’s a good investment.”