Response times to threats have been improved by up to 47 percent, according to the company.

Johnson said the real-time appeal of emergency response mobile apps is a marked improvement over the campus security measures of the early and mid-2000s: blue light phones.

“Those phones may have increased the perceptions of security on campus, but it didn’t create any real safety and security for students,” he said. “They’re stationary. It never made much sense to me at all.”

Among TapShield’s most popular features has been the Yank technology, which, when activated, sends an emergency signal to campus authorities if a user’s headphones are pulled from a mobile device. Within 10-15 seconds of the incident, campus police can dispatch responders to the scene.

The Yank feature, Johnson said, has proven popular among college students who enjoy an evening run that can find them along on campus late at night.

“The problem comes when you’re using headphones on run at night and you don’t have situational awareness around you because one of your greatest senses is diminished. You can’t hear,” he said. “It makes a student very vulnerable.”


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