ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The next generation of personal safety is being placed in the hands of some local college students.
As students at the Sage Colleges in Albany are checking in and getting their dorm room keys, they’re also getting a POM – a device that alerts campus security with the click of a button.
POMCO, or Peace of Mind Company, was co-created by A.J. Leahy.
“I was affected by a personal tragedy,” he explained. “A friend of mine was killed, and we came together to build a tool to help protect college students and faculty members on campuses.”
Leahy met co-founder Lukas Lampe while getting their MBA at Union College. Lampe was on scholarship from Germany to build devices.
“I believe that this product can actually change something,” Lampe said.
“We’ve come to take what currently exists on college campuses in terms of the blue lights and evolve it into what it is now – a mobile personal safety device,” Leahy said.
To work the POM, go into Bluetooth settings once the POM has been turned on. Then, download the app and set up a profile.
Keep the POM on a keychain, pocket or backpack, and in an emergency, hold down the button and wait for three beeps. Campus security is alerted.
Suzanne Pedone has a daughter who is a sophomore at Sage.
“It’s just another peace of mind for the parent and her to also feel like she has somebody there at her hands when she presses the button,” she said.
Following two years of development, Lampe and Leahy spent a year at Sage reworking the device with students, getting advice, and adding features to best fit needs.
Graduate student and resident assistant Anthony Crawford was among those who tested the POM.
“If I feel uncomfortable, or God forbid something bad happens, I can just discretely press the device in my pocket,” Crawford said.
“Profile information, medical conditions you may have, emergency contacts – the information is all available to a dispatcher,” Leahy said.
Sage is the first to provide the device to all students. The creators said they are in talks with other universities in and outside of the region.
Currently, the devices alert campus security. Starting next year, they will use geo fencing. Depending on where you are, the call will be directed to the appropriate police department.