Oversees the state's law enforcement, homeland security and emergency response efforts.
As head of the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, the governor-appointed secretary is in charge of a number of police-related agencies, including the State Highway Patrol, Alcohol Law Enforcement, the National Guard and Emergency Management.
The secretary of Crime Control is one of 10 Cabinet-level positions in North Carolina.
The department was formed in 1977 under the administration of Gov. Jim Hunt when the legislature restructured the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. As such, it is the second youngest Cabinet-level position in North Carolina, after the secretary of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, created in 2000.
In 2008, Crime Control had 3,017 employees and an annual budget of $636 million. The secretary's annual salary was $120,363.
Over the years, several proposals to eliminate the department have been unsuccessful.
After a 1991 consultant's study and a 1993 performance audit raised questions, some legislators proposed eliminating the agency, but Hunt saved it, though he later said the idea had merit.
In 2001, the state Senate considered eliminating the department, but Gov. Mike Easley, local police chiefs and sheriffs and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers successfully defeated the proposal.
In 2003, Easley added homeland security to the department's Emergency Management division.
The position has sometimes been seen as a steppingstone for appointees interested in burnishing their law enforcement credentials.
Secretaries J. Phil Carlton (1977-1978) and Burley Mitchell Jr. (1979-1982) later served on the N.C. Supreme Court. Secretary Richard Moore (1995-1999) later served as state treasurer and ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
The first African-American to serve as secretary was Thurman Hampton (1993-1995). The second was Bryan Beatty, who is also the longest serving secretary in the department's history, at seven years and 11 months. The third is current Secretary Reuben Young.
No woman has headed the department.
The department is outlined in general statutes under Article 11 of G.S. 143B.