On move-in day, students as always arrived loaded with laptops, cell phones, bicycles, and other valuable personal property. And for the first time, Jacksonville University is offering a new technology to keep all those valuables as safe as possible.
JU partnered with ProtechDNA to become the first institution to deploy the personal property protection technology “DNA for Property” on a college campus. ProtechDNA demonstrated and distributed the technology free to students outside Botts Hall as they checked in for the fall semester on Friday.
“It’s a way to provide the best in security for our students, faculty and staff,” said Kevin Bennett, Director of Campus Security for JU.
“DNA for Property” is an adhesive gel containing thousands of microscopic dots. Each dot, smaller than a grain of sand, is etched with a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Students apply a small amount of gel, which dries almost invisibly, to each item of personal property. Then they set up a free account at protechdna.com to register their PIN and catalog the property they marked. After that, they can manage their account and property from the ProtechDNA app on any of their mobile devices.
Although JU is the first college campus to deploy “DNA for Property,” the technology is already in use at more than 6,200 law enforcement agencies across the U.S., according to ProtechDNA President Shawn Andreas. JU Campus Security also has the technology, including black lights and PIN scanners, to help identify and return stolen property to its rightful owner.
“The number one crime on most college campuses is theft of personal property,” Mr. Bennett said. “With the power of the app right in your hand, the technology incorporates safety and security with no extra steps.”
Mr. Andreas said approximately 25 more colleges and universities have registered to deploy the technology. The next rollout will be at Arizona State University.
“We have been working to provide our technologies to students on campus and have created many new features that really fit the student demographic,” Mr. Andreas said. “Students also love technology, and now that our program can be fully managed from our new app, it just fits perfectly on college campuses.”
The technology is also available to faculty members and staff, Mr. Bennett said.
By Jim Mullay