How Does it Work?: Drexel Guardian App

How does it work? Drexel Guardian

This interview is part of DrexelNEWS’ recurring feature — “How Does it Work?” — spotlighting operational or administrative departments, teams or processes you might not know about, but who keep the Drexel cogs moving each and every day!

By now, you’ve probably seen Drexel Guardian mentioned in just about every Drexel Public Safety (DPS) email. Hopefully you have the app downloaded to your phone already and know the basics – that the app allows you to connect directly to the Public Safety Communications Center in the event of an emergency. However, Drexel Guardian has many more features than you might think, making it a crucial tool to keep you safe while on the go.

Vice President of Public Safety and Chief of Police Melvin “Mel” Singleton Jr. shared a detailed breakdown on everything the community should know about the Drexel Guardian app.

Q: What is the purpose of the Drexel Guardian app?

A: The Guardian app is one of the many safety resources available to all members of the Drexel community — including students, faculty and professional staff. It essentially transforms your phone into a personalized safety device. The biggest benefit of the app is that it can instantly connect you to the Drexel Public Safety Communications Center through one-touch dialing, and it can help DPS locate you in an emergency through your phone’s GPS locator (this feature is only enabled once you initiate an emergency communication). It is not meant to be a substitute for calling Drexel Police (215.895.2222) or 9-1-1, but it’s an optional back-up alert notification system for members of the Drexel community to use at their discretion.

The Guardian app also allows you to take control of your own safety by inviting family or friends (or DPS) to be your “Guardians” who can check in on you if you are alone or in an unfamiliar place, through the Safety Timer feature.

The overarching goal of the app is to foster connections of Drexel Police to the community, and to allow folks to contact Public Safety in the way they feel most comfortable, whether it be a call, a text or an in-app request for assistance.

Q: Why does the community need to know about the Drexel Guardian app?

A: The app is voluntary (as in, community members are not auto-enrolled in this safety resource). However, Public Safety highly recommends that every Dragon download it and set up a personal profile — with as much or as little information as you feel comfortable providing. In an emergency, the app will allow the Communications Center to immediately access important details about you to get you the help you need ASAP. Hopefully you’ll never encounter an experience where you’ll need it, but in the unlikely event that you do, it’s extraordinarily useful!

Q: How does the app work? Break it down for us.

A: Find the Drexel Guardian app in the iOS or Google Play store by searching “Rave Guardian,” and register using your Drexel email address. (Rave is the name of the company that provides the Guardian service.) When you set up the app, you can build your personal profile with critical information about yourself, such as a photograph and any special medical needs. This information is optional, and it is only accessed by trained dispatchers when you initiate an emergency communication through the app. 

On the front page of the app, you’ll see all of the safety features available to you, including the ability to call or text Drexel Police instantly. Based on your cell phone signal, a GPS locator is activated during your self-initiated emergency communication, which, in addition to your registered profile information, helps Public Safety to identify, locate and assist you. As with any cell phone usage, the app’s GPS locator accuracy will be impacted by factors like signal strength and the type and quality of your phone carrier.

Neither Public Safety nor any individuals you identify as your “Guardians” will be able to use the app to track your whereabouts or see your information unless you initiate contact through the one-touch dialing or Safety Timer feature.

Q: What else would you like the community to know about the Drexel Guardian app?

A: Along with the ability to instantly connect with Public Safety during an emergency, the app has all sorts of other safety features:

  • Request a walking escort 24/7 (go to “Call Directory” and then select “Walking Escort”) for extra security on foot in University City
  • Manage and message family, friends or others you have designated in the app as “Guardians’ (emergency contacts) as needed
  • Set a safety timer that will notify Drexel Police or a designated emergency contact to check in on you if you are alone or in an unfamiliar place (for example, walking home alone at night or taking a rideshare service by yourself)
  • Send text tips — including photos — to safety officials via “Text Drexel Police” in the app if you witness something suspicious

Above all, Public Safety would like the app to serve as the best possible resource for the University community, and we’re always open to feedback. If you have any comments to share, please feel free to contact us at

Q: Whom can the community contact for more information about Drexel Guardian?

A: You can contact or 215.895.2822 with any non-urgent questions about the app or any other non-urgent public safety issue. In an emergency, always call 215.895.2222 (on the University City Campus) or 9-1-1. 

Q: Are there any other safety resources I should know about?

A: Drexel Public Safety’s website is a gold mine of safety information, whether you’re looking for details on available safety workshops, crime stats or DrexelALERT, Drexel’s emergency notification system. We also update the community monthly on all things Public Safety in our newsletter, Public Safety & U, published on DrexelNEWS.