Stanley Valles is College’s new director of public safety

With an impressive wide-ranging resume across the profession, this experienced leader comes from a law enforcement family, valuing community policing and serving students

August 18, 2021
Mark Tarnacki
Staff Writer
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Stanley Valles

Stanley Valles, the new director of public safety at Saint Michael’s College since early August, has over 25 years of experience in law enforcement and public safety.

Over those 25 years, Valles has been employed by the New Hampshire Department of Corrections, New Jersey Transit Police Department, the Livingston Police Department and Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey, and Marlboro College in Vermont. He has held the roles of police officer, detective, community relations officer, school resource officer, corrections counselor, adjunct instructor and director of campus safety.

“I have done my share of protecting and serving, as I have worked in essentially every aspect of law enforcement,” Valles said in August. “While both are equally important, we must never forget to serve and protect each other. I believe in ‘harm reduction,’ the ‘good Samaritan law,’ community relations, discretion, and compassion. I also believe that I will do whatever it takes to protect my family …. St. Mike’s is now a part of that family.”

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Stanley Valles in uniform with Livingston, NJ, police.

Valles assumed duties at Saint Michael’s from his predecessor Doug Babcock this summer after Babcock took a public safety position at Dartmouth College. The new director comes from a law enforcement family: his uncles Max Valles and Fritz Antione both are generals in the Haitian military as well as attorneys in Haiti. (Max Valles was part of the military-civilian government leadership that replaced former Haitian dictator Jean-Claud Duvalier in the mid-1980s). Stanley Valles’ brother Pierre was a New Jersey corrections officer, and his cousin Paul was a lieutenant in the New Jersey State Police in charge of the polygraph unit. His cousin Yves Aubourg was the police commissioner/chair of public for Roselle Police Department in New Jersey. Another interesting family connection is that his nephews Max and Hakeem Valles played in the National Football League.

Besides being the first African American ever to be hired as a police officer for the Township of Livingston (NJ) in 1995, Valles also was the first Director of Campus Safety and Emergency Management at Marlboro College in 2017. Among the many awards and citations he has received are: Life Saving Award in 2009, Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, and Officer of the Year awards in 2011. In 2012, he received a Certificate of Recognition from PBA Local 263 for the apprehension of three burglary suspects.

He told the circumstances of receiving the life-saving award: “I was able to perform CPR for a long period of time,” Valles said. “I could not feel my arms anymore but would not stop chest compressions, and was fortunate enough to have assisted in saving a life.”

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Stanley Valles with McGruff the Crime Dog during his community policing days in New Jersey.

Valles played a key role in planning several of Livingston’s National Night Out events when he was an officer in that community, and served on the leadership team of the Essex County Crime Prevention Officers Association for several years. He had helped facilitate numerous active-shooter, shelter-in-place and school lockdown drills. He has also conducted security assessments for schools, bus evacuation drills, fire safety drills and security assessments for houses of worship as well as private residences.

During his time as a School Resource Officer he was a DARE Instructor and taught Criminal Justice and Homeland Security Courses when he retired from the force. During his time in the Community Policing Unit, he was tasked with building partnerships with local, county state and federal law enforcement agencies. He is a proud graduate of the Middlesex County Police Academy, holds a bachelor’s degree from Kean University and master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall University (both in New Jersey).

He said recently that during his transition into the Saint Michael’s leadership post he has connected with his predecessor Babcock, whom he already knew from when Valles was head of public safety at Vermont’s Marlboro College several years ago.

“Doug spoke highly of the school, its students, the administration, and the strong sense of community/family that exist here,” Valles said. “When I met the students and the selection committee, I saw the students had a great deal of input as they were part of the process. Everyone I met appeared to care a great deal about the school, but more importantly, I saw that they cared about each other. As someone with knowledge in interview and interrogation, St. Mike’s students did a great job putting me on the ‘hot seat.’”

Valles said he “had some fun” during his days of community policing in New Jersey, and his sense of fun and humor come through in photos that he shared of himself in uniform posing with Batman and The Joker, or with McGruff the Crime Dog.

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Stanley Valles with Batman and the Joker during his community policing days in New Jersey

His philosophy from those earlier experiences should translate well in interactions with students on a College campus – he quoted Sir Robert Peel on their shared view that “the police are the community, and the community are the police.”

“At St. Mike’s, Public Safety is the community, and the community is public safety,” Valles said.

Valles is married to Kathleen Valles, a New Jersey educator who works with children with special needs. He has two adult children: Olivia who is a graduate student at the University of New Hampshire, and Max, who is a sophomore at Maine’s Husson University where he plays basketball and lacrosse. Stan also has a dog named Corey-Roe. “She has no idea she is a dog,” he jokes.

“I love Haitian food and miss my grandmother’s and mother’s cooking,” said Valles, who is a fan of the New York Giants, Knicks and Yankees professional sports franchises. Sadly, he said he lost his brother, Edzer Valles, to COVID 19 last year.

“As I lost my brother to COVID, I take this pandemic seriously, as every day we wake up is a gift,” Valles said. “The opportunity to build relationships with our students, faculty, and staff is something I value very much and am looking forward to. At the end of the day, Campus Safety is everyone’s responsibility. However, we are all on the same team and need to work together.”

Volunteering, adventure are family ethos and lore

An appreciator of the volunteer culture at Saint Michael’s considering his own family’s extended record of community service, Valles has volunteered as a CYO and community youth basketball coach.

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Stanley Valles’ nephew Hakeem Valles in his NFL days.

He told how, for one of his NFL nephews, Hakeem, it was a volunteer church missionary group experience with family members in 2015 in Haiti, prior to Hakeem’s pro football career, that became a life-changing and harrowing ordeal, when the church group that included Hakeem’s parents (Stanley’s brother) came under attack where they were staying by a violent criminal gang of intruders, and he thought he was going to die — though eventually he came through the attack alive but traumatized.

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Max Valles when with the NFL Bills.

The gripping details of that story are recounted in a 2018 report by a Detroit Lions reporter at this link. Also, Hakeem and Max talk on a podcast about that and other pro football and life experiences at this link that their Uncle Stan shared. “Max left the NFL and last played in Canada for the Ottawa Redblacks, now retired from football, while Hakeem is now a real estate investor. Hak is a dynamic speaker,” Valles said, adding that at this podcast link, the 14:20 mark is where the story begins of the traumatic episode in Haiti.

At home on campus

Valles is leading by example in the area of community policing by residing temporarily on campus as he starts in his new position. “I am literally part of the community — It does not get any better than that,” he said. “Without the students, I would not be here…none of us would, as we are here to serve and protect them — we are here for them and not in spite of them.”

 

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