WV DMAPS is now the WV Department of Homeland Security


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVVA) – The name has changed, but the mission is the same: the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety is now the Department of Homeland Security, and remains committed to ensuring a safe and secure West Virginia.

Gov. Jim Justice had proposed this change as part of his legislative agenda during this year’s regular session. His successful measure, Senate Bill 586, became law Thursday.

SB 586 designates the department’s secretary as West Virginia’s Homeland Security Advisor (HSA). Keeping the governor advised of all homeland security matters, the secretary as HSA is now also responsible for coordinating, designing, and implementing West Virginia’s homeland security program. The HSA is also the principal point of contact between the state and the federal government with respect to homeland security issues.

The legislation establishes the W.Va. National Guard as a separate entity within the governor’s Cabinet. What had been DMAPS’ other agencies remain with the Cabinet Department of Homeland Security, with some internal changes:
•SB 586 renames the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) as the Division of Emergency Management. It will be commonly known as Emergency Management or EM.•The agency will continue to lead the state’s response to manmade or natural disasters, ensuring the protection of life and property by providing coordination, guidance, support and assistance to local emergency managers and first responders.

•The State Fire Marshal will continue to report to the secretary of Homeland Security but no longer to the State Fire Commission.•The commission had previously shared administrative oversight, and also hired the Fire Marshal. The governor will now make that appointment, from a list submitted by the Fire Commission.
•The Office of the State Fire Marshal now has sole jurisdiction over the licensure and certification of home inspectors, building code officials, and other relevant inspectors from the State Fire Commission. The office also continues full enforcement authority for building and fire codes.
•The State Fire Commission retains full authority over all fire departments in West Virginia, and the rules pertaining to their equipment, training, certification, and evaluation. The commission will also continue to promulgate legislative rules for the state fire and building codes.
•The State Fire Marshal is now an ex-officio (non-voting) member of the State Fire Commission.


Contact Information

This is an extract from WVVA Article by Bailey Pace, located at https://wvva.com/2020/05/28/w-va-dmaps-is-now-the-w-va-department-of-homeland-security/