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Emergency personnel from Southeastern Conference universities are on the UT Knoxville campus today for the Police Chief and Emergency Manager Conference. The two-day conference is the first of its kind, and brings together thirty emergency management professionals from all twelve of the SEC schools.

The conference, which began yesterday, includes roundtable discussions, presentations from representatives of UT Knoxville and other SEC campuses, and tours of Neyland Stadium and the UT Police Department.

“This is great opportunity to bring these people together to share their experiences and best practices,” said Brian Gard, director of emergency management for UT Knoxville, who spearheaded the effort of organizing the conference along with the UTPD.

Highlights of the conference include discussion of the emergency mass sheltering that was necessary last fall because of bad weather during the Tennessee-Oregon football game at Neyland Stadium; active shooter response presentations from Auburn University and the University of Georgia, followed by a roundtable discussion for all participants; and a discussion of the lessons learned after the Alabama tornadoes this spring. Separate breakout sessions for emergency managers and police chiefs will address topics including mass notification, use of social media, sexual assault, and crisis communications.

The SEC is comprised of the University of Alabama, the University of Arkansas, Auburn University, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University, the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Tennessee, and Vanderbilt University.