Vol. 29 Iss. 20 - June 03, 2013



Continuing the Public Safety Memorial Commission

Importance of the Initiative

Every day, throughout our Commonwealth, the courageous men and women of our public safety community dedicate their lives to protecting their neighbors and communities. These brave men and women work tirelessly to make our streets and communities safer.

Unfortunately, every year we mourn the loss of members of Virginia's public safety community. We must forever honor the selfless dedication of these valiant Virginians and their willingness to serve without hesitation. It is essential that we recognize the incalculable human cost to maintain public safety.

Virginia is one of only six states that does not have a statewide Public Safety Memorial to serve as an enduring acknowledgement of the ultimate sacrifice made by the brave men and women who serve their communities and Commonwealth. A Public Safety Memorial will serve as hallowed ground to forever honor and respect Virginia's fallen heroes.

The Public Safety Memorial Commission

Recognizing the importance of commemorating the courage and integrity of our public safety officers, the Public Safety Memorial Commission was established to design an appropriate memorial to forever remember the sacrifice of Virginia's fallen heroes. Since 2007, the Public Safety Memorial Commission has made tremendous strides, but much work remains to be done.

Virginia's Public Safety Memorial will recognize all public safety officials who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Public safety officers, for the purpose of this Memorial, include law enforcement officers, firefighters, jail and correctional officers, members of the Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force, emergency management and hazardous materials personnel, ABC enforcement agents, volunteer rescue squad members, emergency medical services personnel, conservation police, marine resource officers, state park rangers, and forest wardens.

Through Executive Order 89 (July 2009) issued by former Governor Timothy Kaine, the designated site of the Public Safety Memorial is Darden Garden on Capitol Square in downtown Richmond. Located between the Virginia General Assembly Building and the historic boundary of the original Capitol grounds, the Memorial will stand proudly with the other monuments on Capitol Square. The names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice will be at the seat of our government along with those who shaped the history of our Commonwealth.

Accordingly, so that it may complete this Memorial and ensure its future, I hereby continue the Public Safety Memorial Commission to honor these men and women who have died while serving our Commonwealth.

Composition of the Commission

The Public Safety Memorial Commission shall be chaired by the Secretary of Public Safety or her designee. Recognizing that these efforts will require the work of individuals across a broad spectrum of professions and expertise, the Commission shall consist of the Secretary of Administration or her designee and representatives from state agencies, the General Assembly, and members of the public safety community, appointed by the Governor and serving at my pleasure. Additional members may be appointed at my discretion.

Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation, but they may receive reimbursement for expenses incurred in the discharge of their official duties.

Charge for the Commission

I hereby direct the Commission to continue its efforts, in partnership with the Virginia Public Safety Foundation, to construct an appropriate Memorial to properly honor and respect those who have made the ultimate sacrifice serving the citizens of the Commonwealth. The Public Safety Memorial Commission's responsibilities shall include:

• Provide leadership and assist the Public Safety Foundation as it works to secure the funds necessary to construct and maintain the Public Safety Memorial;

• Identify and resolve engineering or logistical challenges posed by the selected site in the Darden Garden location on Capitol Square;

• Approve any design modifications for engineering, financial, or other reasons;

• Take other steps as may be deemed necessary and appropriate to facilitate the establishment of this Memorial; and

• Make recommendations to the Governor to ensure the future of the lasting memorial.

I further direct that all agencies of the Commonwealth provide any assistance that may be requested by the Commission. Staff support for the Commission shall be provided by the Office of the Secretary of Public Safety and such other agencies as may be designated by the Secretary of Public Safety.

An estimated 100 hours of staff time will be required to support the work of the Commission and costs are estimated to be $2,000. Necessary funding to support the Commission and its staff shall be provided from federal funds, private contributions, and state funds appropriated for the same purposes as the Commission, as authorized by § 2.2-135 of the Code of Virginia, as well as any other private sources of funding that may be identified.

Effective Date of the Executive Order

This Executive Order shall become effective upon its signing and shall remain in effect for one year from its signing unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.

Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 9th day of May, 2013.

/s/ Robert F. McDonnell