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Wessinger to Address Public Safety Summit

CLEVELAND, Miss. — Interim Chair of the Music Department Dr. Kent Wessinger will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Mississippi Public Safety Summit on May 8-10 at The Refuge in Flowood. The summit will bring together state and local law enforcement, prosecutors and first responders from across the state to discuss the challenges facing public safety and criminal justice networks.

Wessinger’s company, Retention Partners, is a global leader in providing solutions to attract, engage and retain millennial employees and clients. He has partnered with numerous law enforcement and first responder organizations to help them implement better strategies for developing their workforce.

Wessinger said, “Eight and a half years ago, I launched a research project focused on the relationship between millennials and organizational structures. The reason for that was, I saw a deficit in what I felt was valid information that helps leaders with this new generation that was coming in.”

His research found that much of the data in that field was tainted by small sample sizes and biased intentions. He developed an open-ended research project hoping to get 500 participants that today has over 44,000 participants that he is able to track as they mature, take leadership roles and start families. The strategies that he has developed by analyzing the data from his project have been implemented by companies with over 100,000 employees down to mom-and-pop operations with ten employees.

An event last Fall led to Wessinger being invited to speak at the Summit. DSU Police Chief Jeffery Johns is involved in the organization of the Summit and recruited him to be on the program.

“Police, for a lot of reasons, are mostly at fifty percent capacity right now,” Wessinger said. “We actually see that across all first responder organizations.”

“Communication amongst public safety leaders is a crucial component in ensuring safety to their communities,” said Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell. “The Department of Public Safety is proud to announce this summit and bring public safety leaders from across the state together to discuss topics that will in turn help improve their communities and enhance their public safety in their counties and municipalities.”

Other featured speakers include founder of Operation Underground Railroad Tim Ballard, Former Command Master Chief of SEAL Team Six Dave Cooper and SSA Bradley Hentschel, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. In addition to these guest speakers, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves will join the Summit for an awards ceremony to recognize and honor men and women in the public safety profession who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. More information on the conference and how to register is available on their website.