Expertise: Criminal justice, police technology and management systems, crime prevention, international drug control policies
Joseph D. McNamara is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.
McNamara's career in law enforcement spans a thirty-five-year period. He began in Harlem as a beat patrolman for the New York City Police Department (NYPD). He rose through the ranks and in midcareer was appointed a criminal justice fellow at Harvard Law School, focusing on criminal justice research. Following this appointment he received two Littauer Fellowships from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, obtaining a doctorate in public administration. Returning to duty with the NYPD, he was appointed deputy inspector in charge of crime analysis for New York City.
In 1973, McNamara became police chief of Kansas City, Missouri, leading that department into groundbreaking research and innovative programs. In 1976, he was appointed police chief for the city of San Jose, where he remained until his retirement in 1991. During his tenure, San Jose became the safest large city in the country, despite having the fewest police per capita.
McNamara has served as a professor at five different colleges and lectured at many of the nation's top universities, including Harvard, Stanford, and the University of California at Berkeley. In 1980, he was appointed by the US attorney general to the advisory board of the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
He has been a consultant for the United States Department of Justice, the State Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and some of the nation's largest corporations.
McNamara's books include three national best-selling detective novels and a respected crime prevention text. His latest book is Love and Death in Silicon Valley (2012). He has been a commentator for National Public Broadcasting, has appeared on numerous news programs, and published articles in national and scholarly publications. An authority on police use of force and other issues, he is often consulted by media and testifies as an expert in legislatures and courts.
He holds a BS from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Criminal Justice Research Fellowship from Harvard Law School, and a doctorate in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.