Homeland security operations for Virginia Beach, Virginia are run out of the city’s Office of Anti-Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness (OADP). The OADP oversees many important programs including the Virginia Beach Community Emergency Response Team, which prepares community volunteers to deal with terrorist disasters through basic skills training and instruction, and Virginia Beach Fire Training Center, which trains fire department personnel to respond to a variety of technological and terrorist emergencies.
The OADP also performs critical duties like ensuring the function of communications systems in anticipation of a terrorist incident. These communications systems are meant to function even when mass confusion might disrupt normal operations. Another critical function is the assessment of key infrastructure and implementation of safeguards. The final responsibility of the OADP is to provide preparedness training for homeland security professionals and first responders in response to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.
Requirements and Training for Homeland Security Professionals in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Homeland security professionals with expertise in public administration, counter-terrorism operations, criminal justice, information technology or business continuity planning are may find homeland security jobs in Virginia Beach. Many of these jobs have requirements that include:
- U.S. citizenship
- Ability to pass a background investigation and obtain a security clearance
- A bachelor’s degree in
- Homeland security
- Business administration
- Public health
- Broad knowledge of federal and state homeland security policies and laws
- Ability to work with federal and state officials
Homeland security professionals may receive training through the Virginia Department of Emergency Management which offers courses in
- Disaster damage assessment
- Community mass care management
- EOC management and operations
- Exercise evaluation
- HSEEP training course
Many of the local colleges as well as national schools offer degree and certificate programs for homeland security professionals. While the degree programs are often longer and more rigorous, most of the certificate programs may be tailored to the specific needs of the homeland security professional, and usually include courses similar to those provided in graduate schools.
Federal Funding for Virginia Beach Homeland Security Programs
In 2009, Virginia Beach was granted almost $1.2 million in federal funds to maintain a variety of homeland security programs. While the state as a whole received $7 million, the largest share of these funds was provided to its largest city. The funds require the city to maintain a regional bomb squad which must be certified by the FBI.
Terrorist Related Events in Virginia Beach
In 2003, Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad appeared in a court in Virginia Beach to stand trial for the Beltway Sniper Attacks. Both defendants were found guilty of the terrorist crimes. While Muhammad was sentenced to death by lethal injection and executed in 2009, Malvo was 17 at the time of the attacks and sentenced to six consecutive life terms.