Campus security the focus of conference in Worcester

350 college representatives from across the state attended Wednesday's conference.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)- The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education hosted a Campus Safety and Violence Prevention Conference in Worcester Wednesday.

Its focus: addressing active shooter and sexual assaults on campus.

350 college representatives attended Wednesday’s conference at the DCU Center in Worcester. These representatives will bring back with them this learned information to improve students’ safety on campus.

“I’m hoping to learn other techniques and how this training has evolved so I can bring it back to the college,” said Daniel Martin, Director of Public Safety at Middlesex Community College.

Last June’s Board of Higher Education report outlined strategies and recommendations to prepare and respond to active shooter and sexual assault incidents. Experts led the Presentations on these topics.

“Most sexual assault cases are committed by repeat offenders so even the response can be part of the prevention,” said Dr. James Hopper of Harvard Medical School. “If we really investigate these crimes, we can stop people from doing them.”

“In this day of age, it’s a sad truth that they have to be prepared for these kinds of eventualities,” said Sgt. John Suyemoto of the Massachusetts State Police. “This training is part of a broader all-hazards approach for these campuses but it should definitely be part of their plan.”

Sgt. Suyemoto said strategies and plans for a college can change, depending on the college’s size and population.

Statistics from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education show that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted while in college.