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Warwick Police Chief Stephen McCartney honored during Law Day Observance

Col. Stephen M. McCartney, Warwick’s chief of police who received a master’s degree in criminal justice from Salve Regina, will be the featured speaker and be inducted as an honorary member into Alpha Phi Sigma national criminal justice honor society during the university’s 15th annual Law Day Observance on May 1.

Presented by Salve Regina’s administration of justice department, the ceremony will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments in the lobby of O’Hare Academic Center, followed by the program at 6 p.m. in Bazarsky Lecture Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The national theme for Law Day 2014 is “American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters.”

This year’s McGarry Scholarship recipient is student Andrew Nutt ’15. Also participating in this year’s observance is Dr. James C. Farrington, Jr. along with current faculty of the ADJ department.

Col McCartney has been police chief in Warwick since 1999. He began his law enforcement career with the Providence Police Department in 1974. During more than 25 years in Providence, he served in all three major divisions of that department. His most significant assignments besides his tours of duty in the Patrol Bureau were as director of the city’s first mounted unit in 1979, director of training from 1982 to 1985, Commanding Officer of the Neighborhood Response Unit from 1985 to 1987, and a 11-year stint with the investigative division as a lieutenant and captain commanding the detective bureau and upon his appointment to major in 1995 commanded the entire division to include detectives, youth services, and the BCI.

He was responsible for well over 150 major investigations and oversaw the Providence component of the Operation Checkmate investigation against the Latin Kings street gang. Besides numerous commendations for outstanding police work, he has been recognized for outstanding achievement by the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney, the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General, the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Col. McCartney is also a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. During a 30-year career in the Marine Corps that started in 1969, he served in an infantry platoon commander with the 1st Marine Division in Viet Nam (1970-71) and was Commanding Officer of 1st Bn., 25th Marines who were operationally assigned to the 1st Marine Division and participated in combat operations against Iraqi forces in Saudi Arabia/Kuwait in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-91). In 1997 and 1998, he volunteered for assignment with Naval Justice School, Newport and served two tours of duty in Rwanda, Africa assisting the U.S. Embassy and the government of Rwanda in providing direction and guidance to law enforcement authorities in that country’s awesome task of prosecution of genocide war crimes.

He is a 1969 graduate of Providence College with a B.A. in History and a 1981 graduate of Roger Williams College with a B.S. in Criminal Justice (magna cum laude).

He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in June 1982 and the FBI LEEDS Program in 2002. He received a M.S. in criminal justice from Salve Regina in May 2001. He has been appointed by Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri as the Chairman of the Police Standards and Training Commission. He is also the 2008 President of the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association.