Red Sox announce 37-year Boston police veteran as new security director
After 37 years with the Boston Police Department, former superintendent Colm Lydon will join the Red Sox as the organization’s next director of security and emergency services, the club is set to announce Monday.
Lydon retired in June from his position as superintendent of the department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis. In that role, the Jamaica Plain native supervised the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, which collects, analyzes, and shares data with law enforcement partners at the local, state, and federal level.
“I feel like I’m leaving one great team — one great Boston team — and going to another great Boston team,” Lydon, 58, said during a phone interview Sunday. “It’s just about giving people the opportunity to enjoy . . . all the best that Boston and the Boston Red Sox have to offer.”
Lydon’s employment with the club will begin on July 15. He will ultimately replace longtime Red Sox security director Charlie Cellucci, who is expected to retire from his full-time position in December.
“I’m glad to have the opportunity to work together and show him how things have been done for the past 16 seasons, and when I leave, I’m sure he will continue in that same vein,” said Cellucci, 73, who has held the position since 2004. “I don’t anticipate that there will be a lot of changes, but that will be his call.”
Cellucci, who grew up in Brighton, joined the Boston police in 1970 after serving in the US Army during the Vietnam War. He rose through the ranks and eventually became the captain of District D-4, where he oversaw the area surrounding Fenway Park.
When Cellucci joined the Red Sox, he said, he quickly got to work updating Fenway Park to be a safe and secure venue in a world that was still reeling from the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“To do that required a lot of investment, a lot of time, and a lot of hard work to make Fenway Park and the Red Sox organization continue to draw huge crowds and to make them feel safe in a friendly environment,” Cellucci said.
Cellucci split the park into designated work zones where there would be consistent deployment of security officers, he said. He also implemented a mandatory training program that now requires staff to undergo a minimum of eight hours of counterterrorism instruction.
With the support of the Red Sox’ owners, including John Henry, who also owns the Boston Globe, Cellucci was able to secure funding for additional equipment and updated staffing procedures, he said. He also managed to get permits that have allowed the park to install concrete barriers that protect against vehicle attacks.
After he retires, Cellucci will remain with the Red Sox in an advisory role to assist Lydon and help with any special projects.
“It’s very hard to step away,” Cellucci said. “I’ve always been extremely busy and worked countless hours, but that’s just my nature. I love doing it, and it’s something I’m going to miss; there’s no doubt about that.”
Red Sox president and chief executive Sam Kennedy said Cellucci has elevated the park’s security operation over the past 16 seasons.
“His outstanding leadership and proactive approach to fan safety and security allowed us to anticipate and react to any scenario arising at the ballpark,” Kennedy said in a statement. “We could not be more grateful for Charlie’s tireless efforts and will continue to rely on his expertise and experience to ensure a smooth transition.”
Pete Nesbit, the club’s vice president of ballpark operations, said he’s confident that Lydon shares Cellucci’s goal of making Fenway Park a place that is both entertaining and safe.
“We feel very strongly that you can achieve that,” Nesbit said during a phone interview. “You can create a fun environment at the same time, and have a strong security presence in place. We have all the faith in Colm that he’s going to maintain and elevate that culture here at the Red Sox.”
Lydon said he can’t wait to get started with what he called “a dream job for a local guy.”
“Growing up here in Boston, it was always about Fenway and the Red Sox,” he said. “It’s a coveted venue to be able to protect. I’m excited, and I’m ready to do a good job.”