Dean Gets High-Ranking Police Job

Dr. James O’Keefe, Associate Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Criminal Justice professor, has been appointed deputy commissioner of Training for the NYPD.

O’Keefe was officially appointed to the position on Oct. 31 by Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. With the new position, O’Keefe will take a leave of absence from his position at the University.

O’Keefe will continue to teach Criminal Justice classes. He became a dean for CPS in 2001, upon his retirement from law enforcement.

“It’s a tremendous honor (to be appointed by Commissioner Kelly) and I really had to take a day to think about it,” O’Keefe said in a press release from the University. “I thought about leaving my students at St. John’s and how difficult that would be, but when I realized I could keep my tenured position at the university and take on this incredible opportunity – the decision was an easy one.”

According to the release, O’Keefe will be in charge of all training to new police officers entering the NYPD. He is one of 15 Deputy Commissioners serving under Kelly, who graduated from the Law School in 1971.

Jeffrey Hanover, a senior Criminal Justice major, said O’Keefe was a vital and dedicated member of the University.

“Dr. O’Keefe served the Saint John’s Community as more than a Criminal Justice professor,” he said. “While he became a leader in the Criminal Justice Department as program director, it was dedication to his students that made Dr. O’Keefe known around campus.”

O’Keefe graduated from the University in 1979 with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, according to his biography on the University’s Web Site. After that, he served on the Vice Squad for the Houston Police Department, as both a uniformed and undercover officer.

He went on to become Associate Director of the Office of Management & Budget for the New York City Transit Police Department.

He received a Master’s in Police Science and Administration from Sam Houston State University, as well as a Ph.D. in criminal justice administration in 1989.

Of O’Keefe’s commitment to the criminal justice system, Hanover said he was confident O’Keefe would do great things.
“His commitment to law enforcement is clear, especially now as he takes on the position of Deputy Commissioner of Training for the NYPD,” he said.