Steven Cover Named Virginia Beach Deputy City Manager

Appointment completes management team for City Manager Dave Hansen

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

City Manager Dave Hansen today appointed Fire Chief Steven Cover as the new deputy city manager in charge of public safety. He will oversee the city's first-responder services: the Police Department, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Communications and Citizen Services (911/311) and the Office of Emergency Management.

Cover has been the city's fire chief since 2007 and now he is the fourth and final deputy city manager appointed by Hansen, who became city manager in January, after the retirement of James Spore. The other three deputy city managers, appointed earlier this year, are Tom Leahy (who replaced Hansen), Ken Chandler (who replaced the retiring Cindy Curtis) and Ron Williams (who replaced Doug Smith, who recently left the city for the private sector).

"Steve Cover is one of the most trusted, experienced and reliable leaders in Virginia Beach city government," Hansen said. "We have relied on Steve to lead our organization through hurricanes, snowstorms and even the 2012 Navy jet crash. He has the confidence of all our public safety directors and he has the knowledge and ability to improve our city's emergency response services.

"I'm counting on Steve to provide high-level support for our public service mission and to be a leader in addressing regional public safety issues. I remain committed to preserving our volunteer emergency medic system and I know Steve will help it flourish and grow."

A graduate of First Colonial High School, Cover began his career as a volunteer firefighter at age 16. He became a paid firefighter in 1980 and quickly took on major responsibilities. He was a command staff member of the Virginia Task Force 2 Urban Search & Rescue Team that responded to the Pentagon after the 9/11 attacks, to Oklahoma City after the bombing of the federal building in 1995, and many other disasters.

Under Cover's leadership, the Fire Department has increased staffing, opened four new fire stations and was re-accredited twice. Cover is past president of the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association, was the 2015 Virginia Fire Chief of the Year and was a member of Gov. Terry McAuliffe's transition team.

"I grew up in Virginia Beach, so being named deputy city manager means a lot to me and my family," Cover said. "Virginia Beach has always been a leader in public safety. I look forward to helping the City Council make it an even better and safer city in the years to come."

Cover has a master's degree in public administration from Troy University and a bachelor's degree in fire administration from Hampton University. He attended the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University and the Executive Leaders Program at the U.S. Center for Homeland Defense & Security, Naval Postgraduate School.

He will start his new job Nov. 7.

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