NEW YORK -- The NFL hired Pennsylvania's police chief to make sure there are no more signal-stealing scandals like the one involving the New England Patriots last season.
Col. Jeffrey Miller was appointed to the new post of director of strategic security Tuesday and begins work Aug. 18.
|Matt Rourke / Associated Press|
|Col. Jeffrey Miller served as Pennsylvania's commissioner of state police for five years.|
His job will involve overseeing everything from pregame security screening for people entering stadiums to ensuring that team signals are not intercepted by opponents through electronic bugging or other devices.
"When I grew up, all I wanted to be was a state trooper," Miller said. "I saw them come to my school when I was young and I said, 'That's what I want to do.' Now to move to the private sector for another career, I just can't believe the good fortune to work with the professionals at the National Football League."
The hiring is in part an outgrowth of events from last season when the Patriots' taped the New York Jets' defensive signals during the opening game. Coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team was fined $250,000 and forfeited a first-round draft pick.
The dispute carried into the offseason, and Sen. Arlen Specter criticized the league's handling of the matter. The Pennsylvania Republican said recently he will not pursue it further.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said he wants stricter policing of fan behavior, wanting to curtail rowdy and disruptive conduct that makes it difficult for others to enjoy the game.
The 45-year-old Miller has been commissioner of the state police since his appointment by Gov. Ed Rendell in 2003.
Three years later, Miller oversaw the investigation after a gunman killed five girls at an Amish schoolhouse before taking his own life. He was praised for balancing the public's need for information and the Amish community's desire for privacy.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press