L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Action

Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs news and events
Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs news and events

Join the Wilder School’s Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness program and the Center for Public Policy for a day-long symposium on Thurs., Oct. 29, that will focus on three high-profile issues.

“This symposium will give students the opportunity to hear first-hand from law enforcement and emergency management professionals about how they responded to these challenging situations, as well as learn more about important work in this field,” said Jim Keck, assistant professor of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The event starts at 10 a.m. and will take place in the VCU Student Common Ballrooms, 907 Floyd Ave.

    • 10 a.m.–noon, The Search for Hannah Graham
      On Sept. 13, 2014, Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old second year student at the University of Virginia, went missing. Five weeks later, her remains were discovered on an abandoned property in nearby Albemarle County. The Charlottesville Police Department, assisted by numerous other agencies, launched what turned out to be the most intensive search and rescue operation ever to take place in Virginia. This session will give an overview of the search and rescue process, as well as spotlight the role the local emergency manager played in the search. 

      Speaking will be Kirby Felts, emergency management coordinator for Charlottesville, U.Va. and Albemarle, and Mark Eggeman, search and rescue coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Emergency management — oil spill
  • 1:30–3 p.m., The Response to Deepwater Horizon
    On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well drilling platform started the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history, releasing 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The BP explosion taught local, state and federal officials that it’s critically important to regularly maintain, update and evaluate emergency operations and area contingency plans. Additionally, it taught businesses – vital to the communities impacted – the importance of continuity of operations plans. This presentation will describe how the state formed an effective partnership with BP and other private industry leaders to respond to the event and will provide a state incident commanders’ perspective and planning lessons learned. It will also discuss various types of assistance available outside of the traditional Stafford Act disaster when FEMA is not the lead federal agency. 

    Speaking will be Brock Long, executive vice president of Hagerty Consulting.
  • 3:30–5 p.m., The Virginia Fusion Center
    Many fusion centers were jointly created between 2003 and 2007 under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice. The fusion process is an overarching method of managing the flow of information and intelligence across levels and sectors of government to integrate information for analysis. The process relies on the active involvement of state, local, tribal and federal law enforcement agencies – and sometimes on non-law enforcement agencies to provide the input of raw information for intelligence analysis. 

    Speaking will be Austin White, special agent, Virginia State Police.

For more information on the symposium, please contact Keck at (804) 827-3510 orkeckjw@vcu.edu.

A related event, “Community Law Enforcement and the Impossible Mandate: Policing in the 21st Century,” will take place at 6 p.m. in Harris Hall, room 101, 1000 Floyd Ave. Join Eta Lambda Sigma and the Wilder School as they host VCU Police Chief John Venuti and other guests from the Richmond law enforcement community to discuss the impact of community policing in light of recent events, including the riots in Baltimore last spring and increasing pressure on law enforcement communities.