University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

The police department at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is now using SafeZone® in buildings and parking lots across a complex 3 million square feet site, to help officers deliver the fastest and most effective response to calls for assistance by faculty, staff and students.

The campus, located in the city of Aurora outside Denver, is the largest academic health centre in the Rocky Mountain region and includes two nationally ranked hospitals which treat nearly 2 million patients each year.

Tasked with protecting a campus population of over 21,000 employees and 4,275 students, working in 33 separate buildings, the relatively small police department is continually looking for force multiplier technology to maximize their capabilities.

Beginning with an initial deployment in 2017, the SafeZone technology has helped the police force on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus fulfil their duty of care with students, academic staff and practicing clinicians.

“When somebody uses SafeZone to call us for help, instead of using 911, we can pinpoint their location more accurately. And now, with the indoor positioning solution, we know the floor, wing and room where that help is needed, instead of just the building.”
RANDY REPOLA, Chief of Police, CU Anschutz Medical Campus

SafeZone Solution

The SafeZone service makes it easy for staff and students on campus to communicate with the police department directly – and silently if necessary. It lets users check-in when working alone after hours, and/or when in sensitive labs, so that officers know where they are. Plus, staff and students can easily trigger either emergency alerts or requests for help using their smartphones.

The police dispatchers in the Emergency Communications Centre can then immediately determine the identity and location of the caller and communicate with them by voice or text while officers are heading to assist.

In the event of a major incident, for example an active shooter requiring a full or partial lockdown, SafeZone now allows police to send targeted communications to groups or individuals in specific geo-fenced locations.

For incidents requiring immediate intervention, SafeZone gives dispatch complete, situational awareness in 3D. The SafeZone indoor-positioning capability allows individuals to be located floor-by-floor, to an unprecedented accuracy of within 10 feet. This indoor positioning was first successfully introduced and trialled in the outpatients’ psychiatric clinic and is now being extended across all University buildings on site.

The information that SafeZone provides about the location and identity of those needing help is particularly valuable – it was often not previously made available to the CU Anschutz Police because wireless 911 calls are routed to the Aurora Police Department (PD).

This additional detail now helps officers more effectively respond to incidents. It’s a preventative capability that means the campus today remains largely free of workplace violence despite the higher risks typically associated with the healthcare sector. It addresses key challenges in healthcare, helping to retain staff, fulfil duty of care, improve patient experience and reduce risks.

Outcomes & Expansion

The SafeZone roll-out now allows officers to provide the best response across the high-density CU Anschutz Medical Campus, including its busy psychiatric out-patients’ clinic, extensive teaching facilities and a multi-floor parking lot. It also lets them coordinate more effectively with other agencies, including the Aurora PD and Fire Department, and it gives more precise location details for incidents on campus than those provided by wireless 911.

Based on SafeZone’s success at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, and following demand from campus leadership for full campus-wide indoor positioning, the service is now being expanded. Additional functions to be deployed include OmniGuard team management technology which will be used to coordinate resources during major events such as commencement ceremonies.

SafeZone Benefits:

  • Faster and more targeted response to calls for help
  • Enhanced safety and reassurance for faculty, staff and students
  • Wrist-worn panic-alarms kept available for higher vulnerability community members
  • Makes it easier to find stakeholders during medical emergencies
  • Optimizes the coordination and deployment of police department resources

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