Gov.-elect Dan Malloy appointed former State Police Major Reuben Bradford to be the next Commissioner of Public Safety Wednesday.
Bradford, who worked in various capacities during his 22 year career as a state trooper, is currently the head of security for the National Football League. He said he will be taking a significant pay cut to join the Malloy administration, but relished the opportunity to serve the public again toward the end of his career.
Bradford, 64, said he won’t take office until the end of the NFL season, but returned to Connecticut Wednesday to join Malloy for the announcement.
“It’s not often that you get a chance to come full circle,” Bradford said.
Bradford, who manages all NFL properties, a staff of eight, and 35 outside security representatives, said he will be taking a significant pay cut in order to serve as Public Safety Commissioner, but considers public service an honor.
Asked how long he will stay, Malloy chimed in and answered “he better stay a minimum of four years.”
“I’ve selected someone who I think will make the department sharp and glow. He will not be subject to political pressures from my office,” Malloy said. “I want to be very clear about that.”
“The commissioner designate did not have to ask me whether I intended to run a political department. I don’t and I won’t. And I’m going to hold him to a standard that we can all be happy and proud of our efforts in the state of Connecticut,” Malloy said.
“We in public service are held to a higher standard,” Bradford said.
The Public Safety Department was embarrassed in 2006 when a 207-page report by the New York State Police and the Attorney General’s office detailed the failings of the Connecticut State Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit. The 13-month investigation found it failed to investigate at least 19 cases, some of which involved criminal conduct.
There have also been instances of job discrimination alleged.
Asked if he has ever experienced any discrimination while working in the department, Bradford replied “Yes, but again it was overcome.”
“I think it says a lot of the governor-elect that he’s made this selection,” Bradford said. “The fact that I’m an African American pretty much speaks for itself.”
“I think the real credit should go to the governor-elect for the courage to make that selection,” he added.
Bradford is the first African American to be picked to lead an agency in the Malloy administration. Last month Malloy named Timothy Bannon as his chief of staff, Ben Barnes as his Office of Policy and Management Secretary, and former Supreme Court Justice Joette Katz as Department of Children and Families Commissioner.
Bradford also disclosed that he suffers from Ataxia, a neurological disease which at times impacts his balance.
As Commissioner of Public Safety Bradford will oversee the state police, fire marshal, building inspector and the division of Scientific Services.
Bradford lives in South Glastonbury with his wife. He has three children.