Prominent Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Thought Leader Named Director of The Police Institute at Rutgers-Newark

Prominent Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Thought Leader Named Director of The Police Institute at Rutgers-Newark

Thomas O'Reilly

Thomas J. O'Reilly

Dr. Todd Clear, dean of the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, Newark, has announced the appointment of Thomas J. O’Reilly as director of The Police Institute at the School of Criminal Justice. O’Reilly comes to Rutgers from the United States Department of Justice where he served as a senior policy advisor for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs, since 2006, and director of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI) Program Management Office since 2010. O’Reilly is a noted manager and thought leader in the areas of law enforcement, criminal justice, and homeland security.

“We are pleased to welcome Thomas O’Reilly to the Rutgers University community,” commented Clear. “His broad experience in law enforcement and issues of local, state and national public safety will serve us well at The Police Institute where we integrate research, problem solving, and criminal justice policy and practice to address community concerns.”

As director of NSI, O’Reilly led a team of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Directorate of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, and state, local and tribunal agencies in the implementation of the reporting system in all fusion centers nationwide. A fusion center is a collaborative effort of agencies to provide resources, expertise and information to maximize the ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity. The NSI was developed in response to the 911 Commission Report and the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, which identified the failure on September 11, 2001, to collect and connect information from state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve and the need to develop a program that shared potential precursor suspicious events based on behaviors while respecting civil rights and privacy.

As senior policy advisor for the BJA, O’Reilly contributed to a wide range of justice information-sharing initiatives including fusion center programs, intelligence training, justice systems information sharing and the National Information Exchange Model Program Manager’s Office Outreach Program. Prior to his position at BJA, he was the administrator of the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, the organization responsible for oversight of the state police, emergency management, fusion center operations, criminal justice system coordination, criminal and civil legal services and juvenile justice. O’Reilly also served as the assistant director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, chief of Police Programs for the State Law Enforcement Planning Agency, and planning officer for the Police Division of Trenton, New Jersey. Nationally, he served two terms as president of the National Criminal Justice Association and vice chair of the United States Department of Justice Global Advisory Board. Recently O’Reilly was cited by the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for his leadership and lifetime contributions in public safety.

O’Reilly received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University, a master’s degree in administration from Rider University, and a public manager certification from Rutgers University.


The Police Institute at the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice was founded in 2001 by then director , Rutgers Professor George Kelling. Since that time, The Police Institute has successfully integrated research, problem solving, and criminal justice policy and practice. As part of its mission, The Police Institute works in collaboration with community and law enforcement partners. It serves as a neutral convener of criminal justice and community partners, assists agencies and communities to analyze and solve problems, provides technical assistance to criminal justice and community agencies, and provides educational services to criminal justice and community agencies through its various collaborations including but not limited to Newark Violence Reduction Initiative in partnership with John Jay College and the National Network for Safe Communities, Fugitive Safe Surrender, and the Pathways to Productive Citizenship.

Media Contact: Helen Paxton