West Virginia

West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management School Safety

The mission of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) is to ensure the protection of life and property by providing coordination, guidance, support and assistance to local emergency managers and first responders. 

Pursuant to West Virginia State Code and the West Virginia Emergency Operations Plan, the agency manages disaster preparedness, mitigation, and response and recovery efforts throughout the state by coordinating with all responsible government agencies. In the event of a federally declared disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) works closely with the division to administer assistance programs. 

The division contains multiple branches that work seamlessly together to achieve DHSEM’s overall mission. In addition to these branches and the emergency call center, which is staffed 24/7, the division activates and operates the state’s Emergency Operations Center when local governments request state emergency assistance. During activation, DHSEM coordinates materials and support requested by local emergency service providers, who then administer direct assistance to citizens. When necessary, the Mobile Operations Center is activated so that DHSEM personnel can support local responders. 

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West Virginia Department of Education Safe Schools Toolkit

The West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Leadership and System Support coordinates school safety and violence prevention resources and develops policies and strategies to promote safe schools in West Virginia.

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Policy and Laws: Link

West Virginia School Safety Legislation 

In 2018, the Police Foundation staff conducted a comprehensive public domain scan of state legislation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia related to the following aspects of school safety and security:

  • facility security and assessment requirements;
  • creation, and identification of roles and responsibilities for state school safety centers and school safety teams/committees;
  • requirements for school administrators and faculty;
  • allocation of funds for improving school safety and security; and
  • all-hazards emergency planning and preparedness.

The Police Foundation also reviewed legislation and amendments passed by state legislatures and signed into law following the mass violence attacks at schools in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas. Seven states—Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island—officially codified new significant school safety and security laws that address at least one of the aspects mentioned above. The legislative review utilized open source research, and encompasses all legislation that was officially codified by September 11, 2018.

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