Introducing CWRU Shield

As part of our never-ending quest to make the Case Western Reserve University campus as safe as possible, the university’s Police and Security Services Department released a new addition to the safety toolbox: the free CWRU Shield app, now available for Apple or Android smartphones.

So what does it do?

The app has three main functions. The first is an emergency button feature. First, open the app, then press the police, fire or Emergency Medical Services icon. After a short countdown, the app connects you with CWRU police dispatch and lets operators know your approximate location and any profile information you have entered. Your approximate location will be updated every 20 seconds until you or the police department clears the alert (meaning someone found you and you are okay). You will be connected with CWRU dispatch if you are within a designated University Circle area (see for a coverage map); if you are outside the area, the app will dial 911 and connect you to the nearest authorities.

The second function is a safety check. If you are walking from point A to B, you can set a check through the app for a predetermined time. If you don’t enter your secure PIN to cancel the safety check before the time expires, a text message is sent to the emergency contacts you’ve set up in your profile. (You can select up to three people to serve as emergency contacts; make sure you select people who regularly check their cell phones and care about your safety.) You can use this function anywhere you have cell phone coverage, and it can be useful whether you are walking home from the library or trekking across the Sahara.

A third feature allows you to send in tips—anonymously, if desired—on non-emergency campus issues like parking violations, icy sidewalks or other maintenance matters. So how do you get the free app? Search for CWRU Shield on the App Store for Apple devices and the Google Play store for Android devices. (The app is currently not available for Blackberry or Windows phones.) Several vendors on campus offer discounts for those who show the app installed on their phones. More information on the app—and a downloadable coupon book—can be found at

We at CWRU PD hope you will use this app to help us make your time here as safe as possible. Let’s look out for each other.

On the Beat is a weekly safety column written by Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko & Officer Mark (The Crossing Guard) Chavis of CWRU PD. Send feedback to this or other columns at