The Notre Dame Police Department (NDPD) has introduced two new technologies to better protect and serve the campus community: body cameras for all sworn officers and a free smartphone app that provides a hub for one-touch calls to emergency dispatch and other safety features for students, faculty and staff.
The body cameras — developed by Axon Enterprise, a firm that develops technology for law enforcement, the military and general public — are now integrated with previously installed dashboard cameras in the University’s police cars.
“The increasing use of body cams in law enforcement is a positive development for the safety of our officers and the individuals with whom they interact,” Mike Seamon, Notre Dame’s vice president for campus safety and University operations, said. “The cameras also help increase transparency and accountability as well as provide better documentation to support accounts from both officers and community members.”
“Body cameras have become a vital tool in law enforcement, and in benchmarking with other college and university police departments, we learned that many have or soon will be adding them,” NDPD Chief of Police Keri Kei Shibata said. “Safety is our top priority at Notre Dame, and the addition of body cams to go along with dash cams and the 1,600 video cameras positioned on campus will create a still safer campus environment.”
The ND Safe app is available to all Notre Dame students, faculty and staff and will allow users to access multiple resources all in one place, including one-touch calls to Notre Dame police, St. Joseph County’s 911 center and non-emergency assistance. Within the app, users can activate the Virtual Walkhome feature, which allows a police dispatcher to monitor their walk to or from a residence hall or other location on or off campus.
Other ND Safe features include FriendWalk, designed to share a user’s location with friends or family; Mobile Blue Light, which shares the user’s location with NDPD; and Social Escape, a self-scheduled call to the user’s mobile phone as a means to leave an uncomfortable or potentially threatening situation.
“Safety is our top priority,” Seamon said. “These new and tangible tools join the many other measures we have put in place to ensure that NDPD has the latest technology available to make the Notre Dame campus as safe as possible for all who live, work and visit here.”
NDPD activated the body cameras in the summer, and ND Safe is now available to the campus community via the ND Mobile app or as a stand-alone app by scanning the appropriate QR code for your device.
Originally published by ndworks.nd.edu on September 13, 2022.at