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VACP 2011 President’s Award Presented to Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker

September 8, 2011 | VACP

News Image Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Marla Graff Decker was honored on September 8 with the 2011 President’s Award for her many years of service to Virginia law enforcement. VACP 2010-2011 President, retired Waynesboro Police Chief Doug Davis, presented the award to Secretary Decker at a reception for Virginia law enforcement officials hosted by Governor Robert McDonnell.

“We greatly appreciate Secretary Decker’s efforts on behalf of Virginia law enforcement,” said VACP President Davis.  “She works tirelessly to support the needs and concerns our officers and agencies.”

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 twelve state agencies and a number of Boards that make up the Public Safety Secretariat. 

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. 

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, and 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.


The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police is a statewide organization of federal, state and local police chiefs and law enforcement executives dedicated to improving the professionalism of police agencies in Virginia.  The Association was founded in 1926 and has more than 600 members.  The Association provides annual training programs for law enforcement executives, directs a statewide traffic safety program for law enforcement, produces Freedom of Information Act guidelines for law enforcement and advocates for law enforcement interests at the state and federal level.