This is a content holder for the one button emergency notification system.

Safe Keeping

BSU ranks as fourth safest college or university in U.S.

Bridgewater State University is the fourth safest higher education institution in the country and tops in New England.

That’s according to a new analysis of FBI and U.S. Department of Education data.

“It’s an honor to be ranked the way we are,” said BSU Police Chief David Tillinghast. “It reflects the work of so many people on campus.”

In compiling its 2020 ranking of institutions with at least 5,000 students, the organization YourLocalSecurity analyzed rates of violent, property and hate crimes, as well as Violence Against Women Act offenses. The organization praised BSU for increasing the number of blue light emergency telephones and using the Rave Guardian app. The app makes it easier for members of the BSU community to call for help and for officers to know where to respond.

Also, BSU was a pioneer in academia by making the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan publicly available on campus. Defibrillators are a common sight, and the university has added more cameras to serve as a deterrent and investigatory tool.

“That’s been a tremendous tool for us,” Tillinghast said of the more than 100 cameras.

This semester, Bridgewater became the first higher education institution in Massachusetts – and second nationally – to unify all its emergency notification systems. The one-button approach more quickly alerts the campus community of an emergency.

But, according to Tillinghast, BSU is ultimately successful because of the longstanding, community-wide commitment to safety.

“Bridgewater State University is among very few institutions that takes the problem of crime on campus head on,” he said. “There is no head-in-the-sand approach. It’s all of these years of consistent work on the part of all of these people.”

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