The Blue Team

Team Members
Chris DeCaro cdecaro@umd.edu Marketing, Information Systems May 2011
Austin Wood austinwood@mac.com Biology May 2013

Problem
Violent crimes on the University of Maryland College Park campus are one of the leading threats to the well being of the general student population. Several times each month, individuals are involved within violent incidents both on and around the UMD campus ranging from simple assaults to weapon fights. It should also noted that it was found as a national trend that 95 percent of violent crime on college campuses is alcohol related.

Rapid responses to these events are critical and seconds matter in situations as time sensitive as this. Despite this, however, when individuals in need require assistance they instinctively dial 911, connecting them to the PG county police. The PG county police must then forward the call to the UMD Police, who then speak with the individual at the scene to identify the location of the incident. This whole situation is time consuming and means valuable seconds are being lost by those in need to reach and then communicate their situation to the police.

Target Audience
Although all individuals on the campus will have this app on their phones, few (it is hoped) will ever actually need to use it.

Approach to Solving this Issue
Our current approach is to create a mobile app dedicated to police notification of on or near campus emergencies. In essence this app will mirror the functionality of on-campus bluelights. When users are in crises they will activate the app, which will send an emergency signal directly to the UMDPD as well as the location of the incident. After the initial alert is sent out users may then select what kind of emergency they are in from a menu (if they have the time/are able to given their situation).

The time sensitive nature of emergency situations, as well as the high likelihood that those calling in emergencies will be under the influence, necessitates rapid application load times and maximized ease of use. As a result the application is being dedicated to this single functionality and will be created with minimal amounts of code to ensure maximized operational speeds.

Risks
The largest risk to the success of this project is the engagement of the University of Maryland Police Department. Without their interest this project will be unsuccessful.
Another risk is the credibility of this app, as initial users may abuse the app by contacting the police when there is no emergency. It is expected that this will be remedied by placing the same existing laws on this app that pertain to 911 abuse.

Technology Plan
It is intended that this be a native mobile app. It is also hoped that with the simplistic nature of this program that an application can be programmed for the Android, i-Phone, and Blackberry devices.