New app keeps UW-W students safe

Jenna Giese, Biz & Tech Editor

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For every college campus, safety should be the number one concern. Students deserve to have peace of mind whenever they find themselves walking to class or spending time with friends. Over the years, technology has taken a bigger role in providing that peace of mind.

Matthew Kiederlen is the Chief of Police of the UW-Whitewater Police Department. Kiederlen’s job, along with the rest of the police department, is to keep students safe and help out whenever needed. With the help of technology, the department is able to ensure the safety and security of every individual.

“The technology on campus ranges from dialing 911 to cameras to computers and more. This all helps us to document and protect,” Chief Kiederlen said. 

In addition to the list are mobile apps like Wildfire and Informacast. Safety and alerting apps are created with the intention to protect users by keeping them informed. For example, Wildfire is a local alert app that allows users to post notifications of nearby dangers or events to warn their fellow peers. Kaylee Norris, a freshman at UW-W, is one individual who uses this app.

“I’m not very familiar with the app, but it’s been handy for a general relay of information. It’s not always relevant to me but still good to know just in case,” Norris said.

Another download is Informacast, which the UW-Whitewater Police Department currently uses. This app works similarly to Wildfire in terms of updating the public of dangerous situations.

“I recommend the InformaCast app. It’s connected to the campus system and it’s designed specifically for emergencies. It helps with alerting everyone in emergency situations,” Keiderlen states when asked if he recommended any apps. 

For some students, apps similar to these may go unknown. Abby Gnatzig is a sophomore at UW-W who, like many on campus, hasn’t heard of these apps.

“I feel pretty safe on campus,” the Early Childhood Education major replied when asked how she feels on the UW-W campus.

Whether students have these safety apps or not, Chief Kiederlen advises using common sense when it comes to protecting oneself.

“Don’t go out by yourself at night and walk in well-lit areas. Trust your gut and take necessary precautions to keep yourself safe,” Kiederlen said.

For those who want to register with InformaCast, the link is https://informacast.uww.edu/.