Bobby Valentine Named Stamford Public Safety Chief

Former Met manager is going to fight crime

By Jonathan Dienst
|  Friday, Jan 14, 2011  |  Updated 8:45 AM EDT
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Bobby Valentine Named Stamford Public Safety Chief

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Bobby Valentine as manager of the New York Mets.

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Some people thought Bobby V would return as the Mets new skipper.  Instead, Bobby Valentine will help a Connecticut city fight crime.

The Mayor of Stamford appointed the former Mets manager to his cabinet overseeing the city's public safety.  Mayor Michael Pavia said he was putting Valentine into the post because of his "qualifications in leadership, his qualifications of management."

Valentine's role will be to help the city's police, fire and health departments work together and communicate better with the Mayor, Pavia said.

With the full-time salary for the position having been eliminated, Valentine will be paid just $10,000 for his help - money he says he will give back to the city.  "I was hired to help manage and motivate," Valentine said.  "I am here to help the agencies perform ... It's about dealing with people." 

Even though he was named public safety director, Valentine said security professionals, such as the police and fire chiefs, will be the ones making emergency decisions out in the field.

Valentine will continue his work as a baseball analyst for ESPN.  He said he will spend his weekdays helping in his cabinet-level post.

One New York security official - who asked his name not be used - questioned the wisdom of placing a former baseball coach in the position of public safety director for one of Connecticut's largest cities.  "Are the Boston Red Sox coming to attack that city?" the official quipped. 

Pavia defended his selection saying he already has the "best police chief" and "best fire chief" in place for emergencies.  He said Valentine will be an added asset.  "The two most important components of the job are leadership and management and he has those strengths and abilities."

Valentine admitted he has a lot of learning to do.  He said as of now he does not have an FBI security clearence to receive terror threat briefings.  Stamford has a large rail station as well as major financial centers including offices for UBS, RBS and Reuters.

Mayor Pavia said he has separately appointed a former FBI terrorism analyst, Chris Munger, to help the city better plan its security and emergency response measures. 

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