Georgetown University Chief of Police Jay Gruber met with fellow Washington, D.C., university public safety leaders to discuss solutions to campus crime at a conference at the Capital Hilton last Thursday and Friday.

The Clery Center for Security on Campus, a local nonprofit organization that seeks to decrease instances of rape on college campuses, held the two-day Proceeding in Partnership conference. Leaders from Howard University, Gallaudet University, Georgetown University and The George Washington University convened to discuss approaches for dealing with campus crime.

The conference featured a variety of seminars, including “Threat Assessment and Management: What Campus Leaders Need to Know” and “Stalking on Campus: Understanding Reporting and Investigative Opportunities.”

Gruber praised the Clery Center for its orchestration of the conference.

“The conference was an extremely important resource in emphasizing collaboration with the internal community and constituents at our university as well as to communicate with them on timely issues like alcohol or sexual violence that are taking place on campus,” he said.

Gruber also stressed the substantial role that the Clery Center, which has advocated for the public disclosure of campus crime records, has played in improving awareness about university crime.

“I think that because of the awareness and communication conferences like these have inspired, we see reasons for why crime trending has been slightly lower over the past three years,” Gruber said.

Nonetheless, Gruber stressed that police forces at urban universities like Georgetown face unique challenges in protecting community members.

“We face a tough struggle with off-campus surveillance,” he said. “We can’t protect students the same way once they get closer to M Street.”

Gruber added that the Department of Public Safety has instituted several preventative measures to reduce the risk of theft, including the creation of student focus groups to define best practices and a partnership with the bookstore to sell laptop cable locks.

“We can’t be everywhere, so we really rely on community and public support to ensure Georgetown remains the largely safe environment it currently is,” he said.

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