Unity College, in Unity Maine, is hosting a Public Safety and Crisis Management Institute, on June 21-22, to better prepare leaders on how to respond to and manage crisis situations in ways that meet the needs of the constituents and communities they serve. In addition to more traditional aspects of critical incident training, participants will also enhance their cultural competency skills, which are critical for addressing significant demographic shifts across the nation.

The Public Safety and Crisis Management Institute will have a number of professional speakers presenting on topics such as active shooters, civil rights and hate crimes, disaster and emergency management plans, crowd management, environmental protection including bomb threats, and chemical safety and hazardous materials management.

“This is an important topic for the state of Maine, and the nation, and it’s something that we here at Unity College take very seriously — both in our academics and in our campus life,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “Bringing in experts from the DEA and renowned emergency preparedness organizations to share their firsthand accounts will certainly broaden participants’ knowledge on how to handle these terrible situations if they arise.”

“The institute is designed to expand upon attendees’ cultural competency skills, so that they have the tools to better understand the unique challenges that come from a crisis, while also being mindful of the diverse backgrounds of the constituents they serve,” said Dr. Rana Johnson, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Unity College. “The institute will empower participants to work effectively in cross-cultural situations to adapt their skills to different cultures, refraining from a one-size-fits-all approach to crisis intervention.”

The next generation of students, explained Dr. Johnson, will be more diverse, and that is a trend that will continue. “Our hope is that the Public Safety and Crisis Management Institute will prepare first responders to not only address crises efficiently and effectively, but to also better understand how to address different groups of people in 2018 and beyond.”

All workshops are designed to demonstrate how topic areas may be addressed should a real-world situation occur, and sessions will provide high-quality practical preparation for unforeseen adversities.

The institute is open to a variety of individuals, including college and university personnel, police, state troopers, public safety officers, game wardens, and superintendents and principals at K-12 institutions. Students enrolled in criminal justice programs are also invited to participate.

Keynote speaker Karl Colder is a special agent of the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, and he is in charge of the Washington Division, which comprises the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. The mission of the Washington Division is to develop a diverse workforce of the highest integrity and ethical standards. William Smith, director of the Georgia Institute of Technology Office of Emergency Preparedness, will also speak at the event.

The Public Safety and Crisis Management Institute will be held 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, June 21, and 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, June 22, on the Unity College campus in Unity, Maine. The full conference package starts at $275 and includes dinner on Thursday night, lodging, breakfast and lunch on Friday, as well as all conference materials. Commuter or single-day registration is also available.

Students studying conservation law, criminal justice, and law enforcement programs are eligible for the early bird rate regardless of registration date, however they must present a valid student identification at check-in. The final day to register for the conference is May 15, 2018, or until capacity is reached.

For more information or group registrations of five or more, contact PSCMIevent@unity.edu or contact Stacey Hachey at 207-509-7151.