A.J. Gary, director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), provided students in the Arkansas Tech University Department of Emergency Management with an overview of his agency’s role in providing for homeland security and preparedness during a guest lecture at the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center on Friday, Oct. 14.
Gary was appointed ADEM director by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. A law enforcement veteran of 28 years, including more than eight years as chief for the Conway Police Department, Gary began his current position on June 1, 2016.
“What I learned is that as passionate as I was about emergency management, the individuals at ADEM are even more so,” said Gary in his remarks to Tech students. “This is a career field that allows you to make a difference and have an impact on the citizens in our communities, especially when they are facing a natural or man-made disaster.”
ADEM is headquartered at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. It has more than 100 employees and a budget of $150 million, much of which is made possible through grants from the federal government.
Arkansas Tech began offering academic course work in emergency management in 1997. Tech was the first institution in the world to have degree programs in emergency management accredited by the Foundation on Higher Education in Disaster/Emergency Management and Homeland Security.