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Former Stamford Public Safety Director William Callion dead at 73

February 7, 2019

STAMFORD—Former city Public Safety Director, chairman of the Stamford Police Foundation and mayoral candidate William Callion Jr. has died.

Callion was 73, according to an announcement of his death on Saturday, Feb. 2 from the Union Baptist Church, where he was Chairman of the Deacons Ministry.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois and came to Stamford where he became IBM’s Worldwide manager of Market Opportunity after he earned an MBA Degree in Management and Finance from The Pace University Lubin School of Business. Then Mayor Dannel Malloy appointed Callion the city’s Directory of Public Safety, Health and Welfare from from 2003 to 2009, where he was responsible for the administration, supervision and performance of municipal functions related to police, fire, health, social services, rescue, emergency medical services and emergency management.

His service to the community includes posts as past Chairman of the Urban League of Southwestern Connecticut, Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Life Member of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity, past President of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Member of the Economic Development Charter Revision and Fire Commissions for the City of Stamford, Chair and member of the Board of Finance of the City of Stamford, and Chair and Secretary of the Ferguson Library Board of Trustees.

Stamford Police Chief Jon Fontneau said, “Bill Callion was and will always be remembered by me as being a true humanitarian who without question put other people’s needs ahead of his own. He will always be remembered to me as a person who led by example. Personally I held Mr. Callion in very high esteem and will miss him.”

Former Police Chief Robert Nivakoff also remembered him fondly.

“I love Bill Callion. He was a great man. He loved his family, the church, the community and the cops. That is true,” said Nivakoff, who remembered having long talks with Callion while he served under him as deputy and then chief from about 2005 to 2012.

Nivakoff said that Callion had a great sense of humor and he knew how to laugh. During some very serious times he always maintained his optimism that was very unique. And Nivakoff said Calliom excelled in bringing to the city a high level of emergency management.

“All he cared about was what was good for the community. He was a very bright, caring man and I’ll miss him,” Nivakoff said.

Former Police Union President Sgt. Joseph Kennedy said Callion was always a very good friend to the police.

“He was a real genuine guy who had a real concern for the police officer and the citizens of Stamford. He was a true friend to us,” Kennedy said. “He was just a nice man. a very nice man.”\

Callion was a dedicated and faithful member of Union Baptist Church for more than thirty years. He has diligently served as the Chairman of the Deacon Ministry, Member of the Sanctuary, Men’s and Mass Choirs of Union Baptist Church. He was the Founding Board Chairman of Union Enterprises, Incorporated, and a former Board Member of the Union Social Services Corporation.

He is survived by his wife, Melvina, sons William and Wesley and granddaughters Tiffany and Bethany.

A wake will be held for him from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. along with a funeral beginning at 11 a.m. at Union Baptist Church, 805 Newfield Ave. Stamford.

jnickerson@stamfordadvocate.com

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