OCC Hosts Domestic Terrorism Conference Governor Snyder Delivers Keynote Address

There’s no better setting for a two-day emergency planning conference than Oakland Community College’s (OCC) “CREST” facility, a “city” built specifically to train emergency responders.

More than 275 representatives from at least 60 local, state, and national agencies convened to learn more about domestic terrorism and hear from Governor Rick Snyder, who delivered the keynote address. Local police, fire and EMS departments, Michigan State Police, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Patrol, and military personnel from multiple branches attended a two-day event at OCC’s Combined Regional Emergency Services Training (CREST) facility.

“This conference was a tremendous opportunity to assess the threats we all could face and to learn about the resources we have right here in Michigan that can help with this national concern,” said Gov. Rick Snyder.

The conference was organized and co-chaired by Ken Aud, OCC professor of Criminal Justice and Ken Van Sparrentak, OCC professor of Homeland Security. According to Ken Aud, the conference, Domestic Terrorism – Defending Against the Threat “focused on proactive approaches to combating the continuing war on terrorism in our country.”

“Our primary conference goal was to provide a platform for all agencies at the local, state, and federal level to meet, discuss and share the latest technology and information relative to domestic terrorism. According to the preliminary feedback, we successfully achieved that goal.”

Workshops led by area experts covered a variety of hot topics, from ISIS to Technology and Terrorism, Facial Recognition to Cyberterrorism, Unmanned vehicles to a case study of the Boston bombing, and more. In addition to the workshops, attendees were treated to hands-on experiences including drone demonstrations and robots used for security.

“This event is another way Oakland Community College is reaching out to serve the Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Public Services, and Emergency Services communities,” said Peter Provenzano Jr., Interim Chancellor. “In today’s turbulent times, this work is critical to the safety and security of not only our community, but also the state and the nation.”

OCC offers both degrees and certificates in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security. For more information on the event and/or programs, please contact Ken Aud, OCC Criminal Justice program chair at kjaud@oaklandcc.edu.

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