The POM aims to enhance student safety


Cristian Orellana

A student holds the POM at Peace of Mind Company’s table in the Danna Center during Wolf Pack Welcome. The POM is a key fob security device designed to put students in touch with emergency responders. Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Rose Wagner

As a new round of freshmen ran around Monroe Library for a scavenger hunt, ate free sno-balls and eagerly met their classmates, Peace of Mind Company tabled in the Danna Center selling the POM, a security device for the scarier side of campus life.

The POM is a key fob device that can act as an emergency response locator, sending an individual’s GPS location, photograph and personalized medical information to the on-campus police or the closest emergency responders, depending on the individual’s location.

AJ Leahy, president and co-founder of Peace of Mind Company, said that the POM was created four years ago after his friend, a student at Temple University in Pennsylvania, was robbed and killed one night while walking home with his girlfriend.

“A physical fight broke out and he was knocked unconscious and passed away. Sadly, he was probably 500 feet from a blue light pole,” Leahy said. “It was an eye-opening experience.”

Leahy said this incident forced him, a graduate student at the time, to confront the reality of safety on college campuses and create a product that would be an “evolution of the blue light pole.”

Rather than having to run to the closest blue light, the POM allows for users to call for help with three taps on the device’s center button. Doing so immediately alerts emergency responders and provides them with the information that users provide on their POM app profiles.

“We thought it would be a better, smarter, more effective way of connecting with emergency help,” Leahy said.

Studies on sexual assault and the rise of mass shootings also motivated Leahy and his co-founder to create the device and bring it to college campuses.

Loyola’s 2017-2018 Campus Climate Assessment revealed that 16 percent of all respondents had experienced “unwanted sexual conduct,” with six percent having experienced “unwanted sexual contact,” defined as rape or sexual assault. The introduction of the POM to Loyola’s campus aims to lower these numbers.

Delia Kobel, music industries freshman, bought the device during her first week of college and said she hopes it will give her an extra feeling of security.

“Although I do feel safe on campus and surrounding areas, you just never know what could happen. I’d rather be safe than sorry and be able to call help immediately by the press of a button if need be,” Kobel said.

The latest version of the POM also functions as a key finder, it can be used to text a loved one, and it can allow the user to receive a fake phone call to get out of an awkward or uncomfortable situation, according to Leahy. Users set up in the app what function they want the “long hold” on the button to serve and can customize who the POM will call or message.