Secretary of Public Safety
Marla Graff Decker
On December 3, 2009, Marla Graff Decker was appointed by then Governor-Elect Bob McDonnell to be Virginia’s Secretary of Public Safety. As a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, the Secretary advises the Governor, as well as develops and implements public safety initiatives. In addition, Secretary Decker is responsible for fourteen state agencies and a number of Boards that make up the Public Safety Secretariat. The responsibilities of the agencies include: enforcing criminal, highway safety, and alcoholic beverage laws; protecting the public through confinement, treatment and re-entry preparation; training firefighters and other first responders as well as members of the Army and Air National Guard; and planning and coordinating the state's emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation efforts.
Prior to her appointment, Secretary Decker served in the Office of the Attorney General for over 25 years. Most recently (from 2005-2010), she served as the Deputy Attorney General of the Public Safety and Enforcement Division. In that capacity, Ms. Decker supervised and staffed anti-gang, anti-terrorism and crime prevention initiatives, a responsibility she assumed for four Attorneys General. Ms. Decker also supervised the development and implementation of criminal legislation, training initiatives, and community awareness events. Additionally, she supervised criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as provided presentations on Virginia's gang laws, prevention initiatives, and other related topics.
Secretary Decker serves as an evening adjunct faculty member of the University of Richmond School of Law and the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies. Over several years, she has taught courses in Appellate Advocacy, Terrorism Law, Legal and Ethical Considerations for Emergency Managers, and Law of Disasters. Secretary Decker also does presentations for law enforcement academies on various topics.
Secretary Decker is a life member of the Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad in Henrico County and provides training to pre-hospital providers on public safety issues. Secretary Decker is married to Chip Decker, Chief Executive Officer of the Richmond Ambulance Authority.
Visit the Secretary of Public Safety's website