Parks: Dealing with Difficult People (De-Escalation)

Thursday, January 25 | 1:35 - 2:50p.m.

Session Description:
In every walk of life, and certainly in public service jobs, we have occasion to deal with individuals who don't see things our way, take exception to our policies and procedures, are angry and uncivil with little provocation, and generally try to make us feel bad--even when we are trying our best to serve them. This session provides suggestions, tidbits, strategies and methods of achieving success when dealing with difficult clients, whether internal or external.

Need for Session:
We are living at a time when people have become increasingly stressed, uncivil, impatient, and demanding. This list may include supervisors, peer employees, visitors, board members, and even family members.

Bill Overby, Skatie Valley College

William M. Overby, a native Washingtonian, was raised at Deer Lake in northeastern Washington. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Park Administration from Washington State University in 1972, Bill began a career spanning over 32 years with Washington State Parks, serving throughout the state. It was while managing the Deception Pass area that Bill began an association with Skagit Valley College as an instructor in its Parks Resources Management and Criminal Justice programs. Involved with park ranger training since 1985, Bill has been a lead instructor or academy director for the past 20 years at Skagit, and currently holds the title of Director of Public Safety Academies at Skagit Valley College. The federally-accredited program he manages on behalf of the National Park Service is one of only seven such programs in the United States. His service was recognized by being named the winner of the prestigious 2007 President’s Award by the Washington Recreation and Park Association.

Retiring from State Parks in July 2003, Bill was hired by Skagit Valley College to lead the Criminal Justice Program and Academies. Eager to improve his knowledge, he returned to school and completed his Masters in Criminal Justice from Boston University in 2009. As a faculty member, Bill has instructed courses in multiple subject matter areas, and has also studied policing strategies and techniques in England, Northern Ireland, Australia, Vietnam and Canada. As the former Director of Security Services for Community College District #4, serving Skagit Valley College's campuses and centers in Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties, Bill was elected to a five-year term as the charter Chair of the Washington State Safety, Security and Emergency Management Council, a subsidiary of the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges. He was also elected in January 2017 to serve as Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the National Partnership for Careers in Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security. He is the founder and president of Cross Island Consulting and Training Services, LLC, is a Senior Fellow for Pierce College’s Center of Excellence-Homeland Security Emergency Management program, and is also an Advisory Board Member for McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, in the area of Terrorism and Homeland Security. He serves on the Board of Directors for Boys and Girls Club of Skagit County as well

Bill and his wife Tee live on Camano Island and have five grown children and twelve grandchildren.