By David Gordon, News Editor
The highest-ranking woman in the Nassau County Police Department's history will become the University's newest Director of Public Safety. The Nassau County Police Chief of Department Karen O'Callaghan will succeed Edward Bracht in the summer of this year. Bracht retired at the end of January after 25 years at the University.
"I'm extremely happy to be chosen by Hofstra and look forward to a great working relationship with both faculty, students and staff at the University," Chief O'Callaghan told The Chronicle.
O'Callaghan earned an associate's degree in criminal justice from Farmingdale State College and bachelor's and master's degrees from C.W. Post. She began her career with the Nassau County Police Department in 1982 working as a beat cop.
She was appointed deputy inspector in 1998, after working her way through the ranks of detective in the juvenile bureau, patrol supervisor, detective sergeant, detective lieutenant and detective captain. She was promoted to full inspector in September, 2001 and deputy chief in 2004.
In 2005, O'Callaghan was made commanding officer of the Nassau Police Academy. She was appointed Chief of Department in 2009. Prior to that appointment, she served as the commanding officer of patrol precincts, overseeing more than 2,000 officers and civilian employees. She was also the assistant chief of the Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism Bureau.
O'Callaghan is an FBI-certified hostage negotiator and a state-certified police instructor.
"I am delighted to welcome someone of her caliber and character to Hofstra," University President Stuart Rabinowitz said in January.
Until O'Callaghan begins her duties (which she estimates will take place in June or July), John C. O'Malley, assistant director of public safety, will serve as director.