Hampton, Va. – Hampton’s mayor, vice mayor, city manager, City Council members, and about 100 guests attended an outdoor ceremony Wednesday morning, November 6, to rename the Public Safety building at 40 Lincoln Street for retired Police Chief Pat G. Minetti.
Vice Mayor Linda Curtis, a former commonwealth’s attorney, said that throughout Minetti’s career, he “touched many people and made them better for his guidance.”
Minetti joined the Police Division in 1955 and spent 45 years in uniform – including 29 years as chief – before retiring in 2000. The August 14 City Council resolution approving the building’s name change noted that Minetti” energized the cooperation and involvement of the community in developing and implementing dozens of successful and frequently emulated crime fighting and crime prevention programs.”
City Manager Mary Bunting noted Wednesday that Minetti was a leader in the early years of the community policing movement – locally and across the country. Not only has he touched the lives of Hampton residents and employees, Bunting said, “he touched the lives of people nationwide.”
Minetti said he was honored by Wednesday’s recognition, but he wanted to share the honor with the men and women he worked with over the years. One of the most important things to remember, he said, is that “police are the public, and the public are police. We’re all one and the same.”
Also Wednesday, the training room inside the public safety building was renamed in honor of former Police Chief Thomas H. Townsend, who joined the Division in 1974 and served as chief from 2000 to 2004. Townsend came out of retirement in 2012 to serve as acting chief for almost a year while the city searched for a permanent chief.
Terry Sult, 56, former director of public safety in Sandy Springs, Ga., was named Hampton’s new police chief in September. Sult, who opened Wednesday’s ceremony, praised Minetti’s record and said, “these are very big shoes to fill.”