DEMHS: About Us

Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security

The Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) is charged with developing, administering, and coordinating a comprehensive and integrated  statewide emergency management and homeland security program that encompasses all human-made and natural hazards, and includes prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery components to ensure the safety and well-being of the citizens of Connecticut.

The duties of DEMHS are outlined and Connecticut General Statutes Title 28 and include:  Coordinating with state and local government personnel, agencies, authorities and the private sector to ensure adequate planning, equipment, training and exercise activities by such personnel, agencies, authorities and the private sector with regard to emergency management and homeland security; Coordinating, and as may be necessary, consolidating homeland security communications and communications systems of the state government with state and local government personnel, agencies, authorities, the general public and the private sector; distributing and, as may be appropriate; Coordinating the distribution of information and security warnings to state and local government personnel, agencies, authorities and the general public; and establishing standards and security protocols for the use of any intelligence information; and Providing a coordinated, integrated program for state-wide emergency management and homeland security. DEMHS maintains an Emergency Management and Homeland Security Statewide Strategy, developed in coordination with stakeholders from state, local governments and private response and recovery organizations.

Critical missions of DEMHS include terrorism prevention, coordination of emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation, and administering federal emergency management and homeland security grant programs, including disaster aid.  DEMHS puts into place measures to respond to emerging threats, including developing within the Office of Counterterrorism (OCT) a fully operational and staffed State Fusion Center. 


DEMHS manages the state’s response to emergencies in coordination with local municipalities, other state agencies and federal and nongovernmental partners.  This may include operation of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) if activated by the Governor.


Office of the Deputy Commissioner


The Deputy Commissioner of DEMHS reports to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, and is supported by the DEMHS legal advisor, public information officer/legislative program manager, an Executive Secretary, and two Directors.  The DEMHS Deputy Commissioner supervises the activities of this Division through the Office of Emergency Management and the Office of Counter Terrorism. 

The Deputy Commissioner serves as the State’s Homeland Security Advisor (HSA).   After the governor, the HSA is the state’s lead point of contact with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  The HSA has access to key intelligence networks and advises the governor on emerging threats, events and responses.

The Deputy Commissioner also chairs the DEMHS Advisory Council, which was established under Connecticut General Statutes Section 4-8 by the DESPP Commissioner as an Emergency Support Function-based advisory board with designated supporting working groups.  The DEMHS Advisory Council meets quarterly.

The Deputy Commissioner has overall responsibility for the two directorates within the Division:

The Office of Emergency Management

led by the State Emergency Management Director, William J. Hackett.

The Office of Counter Terrorism

led by Major Michael B. Darcy of the Connecticut State Police.

Content Last Modified on 1/23/2017 11:25:18 AM