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Press Releases

October 15, 2015

CWRU's free smartphone safety app expands to Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Institute of Music

Bill Lubinger, Case Western Reserve University — 216.368.4443
Margaret Hagan, Cleveland Institute of Music — 216.791.5000 ext. 225;
Ann McGuire, Cleveland Institute of Art — 216.421.7417

CLEVELAND (Ohio) — CWRU Shield, the free, multi-feature smartphone safety application Case Western Reserve introduced to campus last year, has expanded service to students, faculty and staff members at Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) and Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM).

Once downloaded, CWRU Shield features indoor positioning system (IPS) technology, a leading-edge technology using Wi-Fi access points to help safety teams quickly locate and respond to emergencies within buildings.

CWRU expanded the service to CIA and CIM after the two institutions requested that their staff and students have access to the app. CIA and CIM academic and residence halls are mapped and active with the technology’s indoor positioning system. Each institution pays CWRU a modest fee for the service.

“The CWRU Shield program provides leading-edge technology, which significantly enhances our ability to respond quickly to Shield users in emergency situations,” said Richard Jamieson, vice president of campus services at Case Western Reserve. “This partnership with CIA and CIM is a very effective way to expand the use of this technology.”

When activated within the coverage area, CWRU Shield allows callers to contact the Case Western Reserve Police Department for a faster response because the call doesn’t need to be re-routed by 911. The technology enables campus police to immediately locate a caller within buildings and to access data from a user’s profile, saving critical time in an emergency. The general coverage area is University Circle.

Case Western Reserve’s Police and Security Services Department released CWRU Shield campuswide in April 2014. The app has about 3,800 active users, resulting in 15 to 20 emergency calls per month. The technology has helped CWRU Police and Security Services solve crimes in progress and quickly respond to medical emergencies.

Since August, the app has been upgraded to provide Integrated SafeRide service, a live view of campus shuttle locations/routes, the 24/7 emergency counseling service phone number, an interactive campus crime map and a tutorial video to view at registration.

CWRU collaborated with Beachwood-based 911 Cellular Inc. to customize the company’s existing technology for use on campus. The three University Circle campuses are among the first nationally to use the IPS technology.

Students, faculty and staff members at each institution can download the free app (through the Google Play store for Android users and the App store for Apple users) and fill out a brief profile to activate the service.

The app works with Apple and Android smartphones and offers the following:

  • GPS that locates users on campus, allowing faster response time during an emergency.
  • An indoor positioning system that uses Wi-Fi access points to find the approximate emergency location within a specific building.
  • A “safety check” feature that allows users to type an activity (such as jogging or walking home from the library) with an expected time the activity should take. If the user does not enter his or her secure PIN before that time expires, the app automatically sends a text message to emergency contacts from the user’s profile. The text message also includes the user’s activity and a link to a map with his or her most recent location.
  • A “what to do if…” feature that includes a list of instructions for various emergencies.
  • iReports to send (anonymously, if desired) campus police photos and/or videos of crimes or potentially dangerous situations.

"The CIM, CIA and CWRU campuses are among the first in the country to offer technology to our students, faculty and staff that allows emergency responders to pinpoint exact locations indoors," said David Gilson, CIM associate dean for student affairs. "Our entire community will greatly benefit from the state-of-the-art features within this user-friendly app."

“We are very pleased to be able to offer CIA students, faculty and staff this additional safety tool,” said Nancy Neville, CIA’s dean of student affairs. “CWRU Shield complements our existing safety resources very effectively. At the same time, this collaboration reinforces our strong partnerships with CWRU and CIM as we continue to ensure that members of our community feel comfortable in our environment.”


About Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work.

About CIM
Founded in 1920, the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) is one of seven independent music conservatories in the country and is known for superior orchestral, chamber music, composition and opera programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The vision for CIM is to be the center for the education of the complete musician of the 21st century. The world‐renowned faculty, which includes all of the principals of The Cleveland Orchestra, are practicing musicians who perform internationally. Annually, CIM presents more than 400 music events for the Northeast Ohio community, many are free of charge.

About CIA
Founded in 1882, Cleveland Institute of Art is an accredited, independent college of art and design offering 15 majors in studio art, digital art, craft disciplines, and design. CIA extends its programming to the public through gallery exhibitions; lectures; continuing education courses; and the Cinematheque, a year-round art and independent film program. CIA’s public offerings are supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. For more information visit

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