SIEDC Member of the Month

James O’Keefe, Ph.D.

Vice Provost
Professor of Criminal Justice & Homeland Security
N.Y.P.D. Deputy Commissioner (Ret.)

Dr. James O’Keefe graduated from St. John’s University with his Bachelor of Science degree in 1979. He began his career in law enforcement as a police officer with the Houston Police Department in Houston, Texas. His ten years with the Houston Police Department consisted of sworn service as a uniformed police officer, an undercover officer assigned to the Vice Squad, specifically to investigate narcotics and child pornography cases, and as a special assistant to the chief of patrol. During that time he was the recipient of numerous commendations for excellent police service. Additionally, while serving as a sworn officer, Dr. O’Keefe was one of the initial recipients of the “100 Club of Houston-Law Enforcement Scholarship” and completed his master’s degree in police science and administration. In 1989 he was awarded a Ph.D. in criminal justice administration from the Sam Houston State University Criminal Justice Center.

On October 31, 2011, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York, the Honorable Raymond W. Kelly, announced the appointment of Dr. James O’Keefe as Deputy Commissioner in the New York City Police Department. In February, 2012 he was also appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, to serve as a member of the New York State Municipal Police Training Council in Albany, NY to oversee law enforcement training in New York State. As the Deputy Commissioner for Training, Dr. O’Keefe was responsible for providing over 51,000 sworn and civilian members of the New York City Police Department with the finest and most comprehensive education and training; thereby enhancing their abilities to protect the lives, constitutional rights, property and human dignity of all New Yorkers and visitors to New York City. He managed a command of 412 uniformed police officers (from assistant chief through police officer), 117 civilian employees and typically 1,500 police recruit officers.

In January, 2014, after completing a two and a half year academic leave of absence, Dr. O’Keefe returned to St. John’s University and was appointed vice provost and professor of criminal justice & homeland security for the Staten Island Campus. On this 16.5 acre campus harboring four different colleges within the University, Dr. O’Keefe holds the responsibility of senior academic administrator.

Dr. O’Keefe has published numerous scholarly articles, and is currently a member of the Police Executive Research Forum “Research Advisory Board,” in Washington, D.C.

St. John’s University Staten Island campus has never been more committed to our students’ high school, college, and career success. It’s our University’s top priority

Become a Partner in Education with St. John’s University Staten Island Campus.

St. John’s is committed to providing high school students with an academic link to one of the nation’s most prestigious universities. When schools partner with St. John’s University’s Staten Island campus, students get the benefit of world-class academic programs and state of the art learning environments.

Early Start Academy

St. John’s University is proud to offer courses from its most popular and distinctive academic programs just for high school students.  With Early Start Academy, students are taught a course in their future major or area of academic interest by a college professor on the beautiful Staten Island campus.  Course credits are transferrable to St. John’s—and students receive an annual $2,000 grant for up to four years of continuous, full-time undergraduate study at St. John’s (this grant cannot be combined with the College Advantage Grant). Nothing prepares high school students for their academic course of study like a class in their future major from Early Start Academy.

Difference Makers

At the heart of St. John’s University education is its Vincentian mission of service.  High school students earn community service hours and learn how to use their education for the good of others through our new Service Partnership program,  which connects classes to experienced St. John’s professors, the Vincentian Institute for Social Action, and its academic service learning programs.   

College Advantage

The College Advantage Program at St. John’s University provides qualified students a concurrent enrollment in their high school and college credit-bearing courses for the University. Available to juniors and seniors in high school, this program benefits high-achieving students to be further motivated and get a “head start” on college. College Advantage courses are taught in the high school by an authorized high school teacher.  Participants in College Advantage receive an annual $2,000 grant for up to four years of continuous, full-time undergraduate study at St. John’s (this grant cannot be combined with the Early Start Academy Grant).

Early Admission Program 

The Early Admission to College Program is a collegiate program designed to provide an opportunity for qualified students to complete their freshman year of college at St. John’s University upon successful completion of the high school curriculum through the 11th grade level. For more information about the Early Admission Program, please visit

Contact Information

Phone: 718-390-4526