NMU hosts critical infrastructure conference

MARQUETTE — The Criminal Justice Department at Northern Michigan University is hosting a two-day event to discuss protecting the critical infrastructure and other important resources in the UP.

A hand full of community members were at the university today with representatives from InfraGard Michigan, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security for the conference. The group discussed events that would put large segments of the population at risk, such as possible cyber and terrorist attacks as well as large-scale threats to transportation or the power grid.

Because these events affect a lot of people, it takes serious coordination efforts to not only prevent, but also respond and correct the situation.

“It’s developing a network of people with a shared interest that work towards a shared goal for more education, more professional development,” said Bob Hanson, a Criminal Justice Professor at NMU. “We live in a community that has remarkable resources. It’s a small town, but it has big resources. The people that are here represent the specialties, all kinds of expertise – it’s just a matter of identifying them and bringing them together.”

Tuesday’s presentations were from the FBI, local police agencies and the Department of Homeland Security. Wednesday’s session will include an interactive tabletop exercise, which provides participants with critical scenarios and how to address them.