Parkinson Certified In Crisis Management Instruction


Mike Parkinson, director of public safety at Maryville University, hopes the University will host a training course later this year that offers the latest techniques on how to handle crisis situations on college campuses.

Parkinson recently became certified to teach the two-and-a-half day course, which is sponsored by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). He is one of only 48 instructors nationwide certified by IACLEA to teach the course. Parkinson said the training at Maryville could attract campus law enforcement officials from across the country, as well as first responders in the St. Louis area.

“I believe in training that saves lives,” Parkinson said, explaining why he wants to teach the course and why he wants Maryville to host a training session. “It’s relevant and needed.” It’s also timely as Maryville, under Parkinson’s leadership, is developing its own crisis management plan.

“The ironic thing about the training is the company who was hired by IACLEA to certify us as instructors is the same company that developed the software we (Maryville) use to assist us in developing our critical incident plan” Parkinson said. “Each time I teach a class, I will continue to learn and practice Maryville’s response plan since it is basically the same.”

The cornerstone of the training course, Parkinson noted, is learning to complete seven critical tasks, as defined by emergency experts, in responding to a crisis situation. These tasks include establishing a command post, identifying the epicenter or “hot zone” of the crisis and determining what resources are needed to resolve the crisis. What sets this training apart from previous courses, Parkinson said, is the hands-on experience.

“We used a model city for the simulation that cost in excess of $15,000 (to build),” he said. “Several students “piggybacked’  off each other during the scenario, which proved that any student using the seven critical tasks can stabilize any type of critical incident.”

Parkinson, who has served as Maryville’s public safety director since 2002, has been assigned by IACLEA to teach the course at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., in late January.