Homeland Security Division
The Homeland Security Division of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security acts as the Cabinet-level State office for leading a unified effort to ensure a secure Commonwealth, a confident public, and a strong and resilient society and economy. We will accomplish this mission by providing statewide leadership and subject matter expertise for assurance of local, state, and federal collaboration to continually develop Virginia’s public safety capabilities for the well-being, protection, and resiliency of our citizens, property, and economy.
Critical Infrastructure Protection
Critical infrastructure are the assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States, the Commonwealth, or both, that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national or state economic security, national or state public health or safety, or any combination thereof. Using a “whole of community” collaborative process, we work toward making Virginia’s critical infrastructure secure from and resilient to all hazards events while strongly supporting the sharing of relevant, timely, and actionable information with our partners and stakeholders.
As the Chief Resilience Officer for the Commonwealth, the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security serves as the primary coordinator of resilience initiatives in Virginia. Resilience, as defined by Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21), is “the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions, and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions. Resilience includes the ability to withstand and recover from deliberate attacks, accidents, or naturally occurring threats or incidents.” The Homeland Security Division supports the Secretary in his Chief Resilience Officer role by serving as a primary point of contact regarding issues of resilience, facilitating the sharing of relevant information to our partners and stakeholders, and providing staff support to the Governor’s Climate Change and Resilience Update Commission.
The Office of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security supports the overall mission of cyber security in the Commonwealth by serving on the Virginia Cyber Security Commission as a member, providing staff and subject matter support to the Commission, coordinating the capabilities of public safety and homeland security agencies to address cyber threats, and coordinating with federal, state, local, and private sector partners to help integrate efforts in addressing cyber security and resilience throughout the Commonwealth.
The position of the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) was established to ensure the implementation and update of the Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan (SCIP) and coordinate major interoperability activities across the Commonwealth. For the SWIC, interoperability is a primary concern, which requires the coordination and cooperation across various Secretariats and levels of government.
Responsibilities of the SWIC include the following:
- Liaise among the local and regional public safety community, state agencies and officials, and the federal government
- Drive and coordinate the effort to implement the SCIP
- Revise the SCIP annually
- Ensure proper representation within the interoperability governance structure
- Develop and measure long-term and annual performance measures to show progress towards improved interoperability
- Coordinate the compilation of state investment justifications for communications interoperability
- Serve as the liaison between the SIEC and other groups
- Serve as a member of the Commonwealth Preparedness Working Group (CPWG)
- Pursue funding support for the effort