Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 2.2. Administration of Government
Chapter 2. Governor's Secretaries
3/8/2021

Article 8. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

§ 2.2-221. Position established; agencies for which responsible; additional powers and duties.

A. The position of Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security (the Secretary) is created. The Secretary shall be responsible to the Governor for the following agencies: the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Criminal Justice Services, Department of Forensic Science, Virginia Parole Board, Department of Emergency Management, Department of State Police, Department of Fire Programs, and Commonwealth's Attorneys' Services Council. The Governor may, by executive order, assign any other state executive agency to the Secretary, or reassign any agency listed above to another Secretary.

B. The Secretary shall by reason of professional background have knowledge of law enforcement, public safety, or emergency management and preparedness issues, in addition to familiarity with the structure and operations of the federal government and of the Commonwealth.

Unless the Governor expressly reserves such power to himself, the Secretary shall:

1. Work with and through others, including federal, state, and local officials as well as the private sector, to develop a seamless, coordinated security and preparedness strategy and implementation plan.

2. Serve as the point of contact with the federal Department of Homeland Security.

3. Provide oversight, coordination, and review of all disaster, emergency management, and terrorism management plans for the state and its agencies in coordination with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other applicable state agencies.

4. Work with federal officials to obtain additional federal resources and coordinate policy development and information exchange.

5. Work with and through appropriate members of the Governor's Cabinet to coordinate working relationships between state agencies and take all actions necessary to ensure that available federal and state resources are directed toward safeguarding Virginia and its citizens.

6. Designate a Commonwealth Interoperability Coordinator to ensure that all communications-related preparedness federal grant requests from state agencies and localities are used to enhance interoperability. The Secretary shall ensure that the annual review and update of the statewide interoperability strategic plan is conducted as required in § 2.2-222.2. The Commonwealth Interoperability Coordinator shall establish an advisory group consisting of representatives of state and local government and constitutional offices, broadly distributed across the Commonwealth, who are actively engaged in activities and functions related to communications interoperability.

7. Serve as one of the Governor's representatives on regional efforts to develop a coordinated security and preparedness strategy, including the National Capital Region Senior Policy Group organized as part of the federal Urban Areas Security Initiative.

8. Serve as a direct liaison between the Governor and local governments and first responders on issues of emergency prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.

9. Educate the public on homeland security and overall preparedness issues in coordination with applicable state agencies.

10. Serve as chairman of the Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel.

11. Encourage homeland security volunteer efforts throughout the state.

12. Coordinate the development of an allocation formula for State Homeland Security Grant Program funds to localities and state agencies in compliance with federal grant guidance and constraints. The formula shall be, to the extent permissible under federal constraints, based on actual risk, threat, and need.

13. Work with the appropriate state agencies to ensure that regional working groups are meeting regularly and focusing on regional initiatives in training, equipment, and strategy to ensure ready access to response teams in times of emergency and facilitate testing and training exercises for emergencies and mass casualty preparedness.

14. Provide oversight and review of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's annual statewide assessment of local and regional capabilities, including equipment, training, personnel, response times, and other factors.

15. Employ, as needed, consultants, attorneys, architects, engineers, accountants, financial experts, investment bankers, superintendents, managers, and such other employees and agents as may be necessary, and fix their compensation to be payable from funds made available for that purpose.

16. Receive and accept from any federal or private agency, foundation, corporation, association, or person grants, donations of money, real property, or personal property for the benefit of the Commonwealth, and receive and accept from the Commonwealth or any state, any municipality, county, or other political subdivision thereof, or any other source, aid or contributions of money, property, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied for the purposes for which such grants and contributions may be made.

17. Receive and accept from any source aid, grants, and contributions of money, property, labor, or other things of value to be held, used, and applied to carry out these requirements subject to the conditions upon which the aid, grants, or contributions are made.

18. Make grants to local governments, state and federal agencies, and private entities with any funds of the Secretary available for such purpose.

19. Provide oversight and review of the law-enforcement operations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.

20. Take any actions necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers granted or reasonably implied to this Secretary and not otherwise inconsistent with the law of the Commonwealth.

1976, c. 732, §§ 2.1-51.16, 2.1-51.18; 1978, cc. 455, 606, 607, 820; 1984, cc. 720, 779; 1985, cc. 447, 448; 1986, c. 60; 1988, cc. 67, 173, 888; 1989, c. 733; 1990, cc. 1, 317; 1992, c. 81; 1996, c. 503; 2001, c. 844; 2006, cc. 150, 326; 2011, cc. 780, 858; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2014, cc. 115, 490; 2015, cc. 38, 730; 2020, c. 88.

§ 2.2-221.1. Secretary to coordinate system for offender transition and reentry services.

The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall establish an integrated system for coordinating the planning and provision of offender transitional and reentry services among and between state, local, and nonprofit agencies in order to prepare inmates for successful transition into their communities upon release from incarceration and for improving opportunities for treatment, employment, and housing while on subsequent probation, parole, or post-release supervision.

It is the intent of the General Assembly that funds used for the purposes of this section be leveraged to the fullest extent possible and that direct transitional and reentry employment and housing assistance for offenders be provided in the most cost effective means possible, including through agreements with local nonprofit pre- and post-release service organizations.

2005, c. 153; 2014, cc. 115, 490.

§ 2.2-222. Secretary to provide annual reports on juvenile offenders.

The Secretary shall provide annual reports to the Governor and the General Assembly on juvenile offender demographics by offense, age, committing court, previous court contacts of offenders, and, beginning in July 1998, recidivism rates of juveniles committed to agencies within the Secretariat. The annual report shall also include summaries of any juvenile program evaluations completed in the previous year on programs operated by the Departments of Juvenile Justice, Corrections or Criminal Justice Services and whose evaluation was directed by the General Assembly or the Secretary.

1976, c. 732, § 2.1-51.17; 1984, c. 720; 1990, cc. 1, 317; 1996, c. 617; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-222.1. Secretary to oversee and monitor the development, maintenance, and implementation of a comprehensive and measurable homeland security strategy for the Commonwealth.

A. The Secretary shall ensure that, consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the Commonwealth implements a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action pursuant to securing the Commonwealth at both the state and local level against man-made and natural disasters. To that end, the Secretary shall take action to assign responsibility among agencies, jurisdictions, and subdivisions of the Commonwealth to affect the highest state of readiness posed by both man-made and natural disasters. In doing so, the Secretary shall ensure that preparedness initiatives will be effectively and efficiently coordinated, implemented, and monitored.

B. The Secretary shall also oversee and monitor the development, maintenance, and implementation of a comprehensive and measurable homeland security strategy for the Commonwealth. To ensure a comprehensive strategy, the Secretary shall coordinate the homeland security strategy with the Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel, as established in § 2.2-222.3, and all state and local, public and private, councils that have a homeland security focus within the Commonwealth. The strategy shall ensure that the Commonwealth's homeland security programs are resourced, executed, and assessed according to well-defined and relevant Commonwealth homeland security requirements. In support of the strategy, the Secretary shall provide oversight of the designated State Administrative Agency (SAA) for homeland security to ensure that applications for grant funds by state agencies or local governments describe well-defined requirements for planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action measures essential to Commonwealth security.

C. The homeland security strategy shall (i) designate a state proponent for each goal identified in the strategy; (ii) identify which state agencies shall have responsibility for prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery requirements associated with each goal; (iii) prescribe metrics to those state agencies to quantify readiness for man-made and natural disasters; (iv) ensure that state agencies follow rigorous planning practices; and (v) conduct annual reviews and updates to ensure planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action is fully implemented at state and local levels of government.

D. The Secretary shall ensure that state agencies develop and maintain rigorously developed response plans in support of the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan (COVEOP). The Secretary shall designate the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) as the primary agent to ensure that state agencies are compliant with the COVEOP. The Secretary shall further require that VDEM ensure the development of state agency and local disaster response plans and procedures, and monitor the status and quality of those plans on a cyclical basis to establish that they are feasible and suitable and can be implemented with available resources.

E. The Secretary shall be responsible for the coordination and development of state and local shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort planning. The Secretary shall ensure that jurisdictions and subdivisions of the Commonwealth have adequate shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort plans to support emergency evacuation in the event of a man-made or natural disaster. To that end, the Secretary shall direct VDEM to monitor, review, and evaluate on a cyclical basis all shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort plans to ensure they are feasible and suitable and can be implemented with available resources.

F. The Secretary shall also ensure that plans for protecting public critical infrastructure are both developed and fully implemented by those state agencies, jurisdictions, and subdivisions of the Commonwealth with responsibility for critical infrastructure protection.

G. The Secretary is authorized, consistent with federal and state law and procurement regulations thereof, to contract for private and public sector services in homeland security and emergency management to enable, enhance, augment, or supplement state and local planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and corrective action capability as he deems necessary to meet Commonwealth security goals with such funds as may be made available to the Secretary or the Department of Emergency Management annually for such services.

2014, cc. 115, 490; 2019, c. 615.

§ 2.2-222.2. Additional duties related to review of statewide interoperability strategic plan; state and local compliance.

The Secretary through the Commonwealth Interoperability Coordinator shall ensure that the annual review and update of the statewide interoperability strategic plan is accomplished and implemented to achieve effective and efficient communication between state, local, and federal communications systems.

All state agencies and localities shall achieve consistency with and support the goals of the statewide interoperability strategic plan by July 1, 2015, in order to remain eligible to receive state or federal funds for communications programs and systems.

2014, cc. 115, 490.

§ 2.2-222.3. Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel; membership; duties; compensation; staff.

A. The Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel (the Panel) is established as an advisory board, within the meaning of § 2.2-2100, in the executive branch of state government. The Panel shall consist of 38 members as follows: four members of the House of Delegates to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates in accordance with the principles of proportional representation contained in the Rules of the House of Delegates, one of whom shall be the Chairman of the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety and one of whom shall be a member of the Subcommittee on Public Safety of the House Committee on Appropriations; two nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates; four members of the Senate of Virginia to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, one of whom shall be the Chairman of the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology and one of whom shall be a member of the Subcommittee on Public Safety of the Senate Committee on Finance; two nonlegislative citizen members to be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Secretaries of Administration, Commerce and Trade, Health and Human Resources, Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Veterans and Defense Affairs, the State Coordinator of Emergency Management, the Superintendent of State Police, the Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard, and the State Health Commissioner, or their designees; two local first responders; two local government representatives; two physicians with knowledge of public health; five members from the business or industry sector; and two nonlegislative citizen members from the Commonwealth at large. Except for appointments made by the Speaker of the House of Delegates and the Senate Committee on Rules, all appointments shall be made by the Governor. Additional ex officio members may be appointed to the Panel by the Governor. Legislative members shall serve terms coincident with their terms of office or until their successors shall qualify. Nonlegislative citizen members shall serve for terms of four years. Ex officio members shall serve at the pleasure of the person or entity by whom they were appointed. The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall be the chairman of the Panel.

B. The Panel shall have as its primary focus emergency management and homeland security within the Commonwealth to ensure that prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery programs, initiatives, and activities, both at the state and local levels, are fully integrated, suitable, and effective in addressing risks from man-made and natural disasters. The Panel shall where necessary review, evaluate, and make recommendations concerning implementation of such initiatives. The Panel shall also make such recommendations as it deems necessary to enhance or improve the resiliency of public and private critical infrastructure to mitigate against man-made and natural disasters.

C. The Panel shall carry out the provisions of Title 3, P.L. 99-499. The Panel shall convene at least biennially to discuss (i) changing and persistent risks to the Commonwealth from threats, hazards, vulnerabilities, and consequences and (ii) plans and resources to address those risks.

D. The Panel shall designate an Emergency Management Awareness Group (the Group) consisting of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety and the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology to facilitate communication between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government. The Group shall convene at the call of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security during a state of emergency to share critical information concerning such situation and the impact on the Commonwealth and its branches of government. The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall (i) advise the Panel whenever the Group meets and (ii) facilitate communication between the Group and the Panel. The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security shall assist, to the extent provided by law, in obtaining access to classified information for the Group when such information is necessary to enable the Group to perform its duties.

E. Members of the Panel shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of their duties as provided in § 2.2-2825.

F. Staff support for the Panel and funding for the costs of expenses of the members shall be provided by the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security.

G. The Secretary shall facilitate cabinet-level coordination among the various agencies of state government related to emergency preparedness and shall facilitate private sector preparedness and communication.

2014, cc. 115, 490; 2016, cc. 200, 216; 2017, c. 512; 2018, c. 822; 2019, c. 615.

§ 2.2-222.4. Chief Resilience Officer.

A. The Governor shall designate a Chief Resilience Officer. The Chief Resilience Officer shall serve as the primary coordinator of resilience and adaptation initiatives in Virginia and as the primary point of contact regarding issues related to resilience and recurrent flooding. The Chief Resilience Officer shall be equally responsible for all urban, suburban, and rural areas of the Commonwealth.

B. The Chief Resilience Officer, in consultation with the Special Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Adaptation and Protection, shall:

1. Identify and monitor those areas of the Commonwealth that are at greatest risk from recurrent flooding and increased future flooding and recommend actions that both the private and public sectors should consider in order to increase the resilience of such areas;

2. Upon the request of any locality in the Commonwealth in which is located a substantial flood defense or catchment area, including a levee, reservoir, dam, catch basin, or wetland or lake improved or constructed for the purpose of flood control, review and comment on plans for the construction or substantial reinforcement of such flood defense or catchment area; and

3. Initiate and assist with the pursuit of funding opportunities for resilience initiatives at both the state and local levels and help to oversee and coordinate funding initiatives of all agencies of the Commonwealth.

2020, c. 493.

§ 2.2-223. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2012, cc. 164 and 456, cl. 2.

§ 2.2-224. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to publish certain list.

The Secretary shall publish annually a list of those localities that have acquired any aircraft through forfeiture procedures. The list shall include a description of each aircraft so acquired. The Secretary shall develop a program to encourage the use of such aircraft for travel associated with law-enforcement purposes, including but not limited to, extradition of prisoners and arrestees within and without the Commonwealth.

1995, c. 464, § 2.1-51.17:01; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-224.1. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to establish information exchange program.

A. The Secretary shall establish a public safety information exchange program with those states that share a border with Canada or Mexico and are willing to participate in the exchange. The purpose of the information exchange shall be to share criminal information and, when authorized by the proper authority, intelligence information to address threats posed within the Commonwealth by (i) the organization or operation of criminal enterprises by transnational gangs; (ii) the production, transportation, distribution, or use of illegal drugs, firearms, or explosives; (iii) the activities of international or domestic terror organizations, agents, or sponsors thereof; and (iv) the criminal repercussions that result from the presence in the Commonwealth of persons or organizations illegally present in the United States.

B. The public safety information exchange program shall be administered by the Secretary and other state and local agencies designated by the Secretary.

C. The Secretary shall seek the cooperation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or any such successor agencies, and any other federal intelligence organizations as necessary, in order to facilitate the sharing of state and federal information and intelligence among the states participating in the exchange program.

2011, c. 503.