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Combatting Campus Crime, District Schools Collaborate

Jay Gruber, Georgetown University Chief of Police, represented Georgetown University at the "Proceed in Partnership" conference.

Georgetown University Chief of Police Jay Gruber convened with other D.C. area campus police leaders to discuss how to better identify and mitigate campus area crime at the “Proceeding in Partnership” conference today.

Gruber, Georgetown University’s representative at the conference, said off-campus surveillance is the most challenging issue campus security officers face. 

“We can detect our students fairly well on campus,” he said. “Once they leave campus, it’s a different story.”

Clery Center for Security on Campus (CCSOC), an organization with a mission rooted in ceasing rapes on college campuses, hosted the two-day conference “Proceeding in Partnership” conference at the Capital Hilton on Thursday and Friday to bring together public safety leaders of D.C. area colleges and universities to share and learn approaches in dealing with campus crime.

Gruber said the CCSOC has been “invaluable” to D.C. area collegiate police.

“It’s really helped raise awareness on universities and colleges across the country on safety and security issues,” he said.

Gruber has worked in collegiate public safety for 25 years. He was appointed Georgetown University Chief of Police this summer. Gruber previously served as Assistant Chief of Police at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he also received a Bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement, a Master’s degree in Management and a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security Management.

“Georgetown is a much safer community than the College Park area outside of the University of Maryland,” said Gruber.

The most common crime at Georgetown University is theft, according to Gruber. Between August 25, the day new undergraduates returned to campus, and Friday, Oct. 5, there had been around 50 reported crimes, according to the Georgetown University Department of Public Safety crime log. Only four of the reported crimes were named assaults, none of which was sexual.

The CCSOC is best knows for footing the passage of the 1990 Jeanne Clery Act, which requires colleges and universities to disclose campus crime records on a public log – such as Georgetown University’s crime log, which is linked to in the above paragraph.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary said the Jeanne Clery Act was “landmark achievement” made by the CCSOC.

The CCSOC was established in 1987 by Connie Clery and her husband in response to the rape and murder of their daughter, Jeanne, while she attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn.

“Getting this legislation passed that required universities to: number one, admit that there was a crime on campus, and number two, be open about it,” said Leary. 

The D.C. conference featured seminar sessions like “Threat Assessment and Management: What Campus Leaders Need to Know,” taught by Major E.R. Gene Deisinger of the Virginia Tech Police Department.

Security officials from George Washington University, Howard University and Gallaudet University were also present.

“I am very pleased to see what the Clery Center has accomplished,” said Leary. “Finally crime and safety issues on campus are being discussed openly…It’s the real world.”

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