NEWARK, NJ - Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced plans to name the Sheriff’s Patrol Building in Newark as the “Essex County Kevin J. Ryan Sheriff’s Headquarters” in honor of the late Sheriff’s Chief Kevin J. Ryan. Chief Ryan, who also served as a NJ State Assemblyman and School Board member with the Essex County Schools of Technology, passed away on Wednesday, June 20.
“Naming the Sheriff’s Headquarters in Kevin’s honor is a fitting way to keep his legacy of public service alive. He was a consummate law enforcement professional who enjoyed working for the Sheriff’s Office and loved Essex County and its residents,” DiVincenzo said. “Kevin had a 30-year career in law enforcement, was recognized as a public safety expert throughout the state and was the go-to person in times of emergency and crisis. He was always one of the first people to be on the scene and was always ready to lend a helping hand,” he added.
Chief Ryan began his career in law enforcement with the Nutley Police Department, where he served for four years before transferring to the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. He worked his way up through the ranks becoming an Undersheriff and then a Chief, and worked in virtually every area of the department. His most recent responsibilities included supervising the Field Operations Division, which includes the Patrol Division, the Bureau of Narcotics, the Bomb Squad, the K-9 Unit and the Office of Emergency Management; and the Fleet Management Unit, which includes all marked and unmarked sheriffs' vehicles, and a wide variety of specialized vehicles and equipment utilized for patrol, undercover surveillance, emergency management and homeland security operations.
Frequently he was assigned to represent the Sheriff’s Office on a multitude of task forces with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal and New Jersey Departments of Homeland Security, the New Jersey State Police and the municipal police departments of Essex County. Chief Ryan also supervised the Dignitary Protection Detail which provided security for Pope John Paul II; Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama; numerous heads of state; governors; senators and other visiting dignitaries, and served as special assistant to Cardinal Joseph Tobin (and the Cardinal’s predecessors) supervising and securing His Eminence's personal safety as well as congregants who attend Mass and other functions at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.
He began his career in public service at the age of 15 working as a voluntary aide to NJ Senate President Carmen Orechio, eventually being promoted to a senior staff position. He later served as a NJ Assemblyman from 2010-2011 and as a school board member with the Essex County Schools of Technology since 2006. Throughout his career, he received numerous awards and recognition, including being bestowed the honor of Knight of the Equestrian Order by Pope Francis I on November 16, 2016.
Members of the Sheriff’s Office have memorialized Chief Ryan by naming his parking space outside of the Essex County Emergency Management Office in West Orange.
The ordinance to name the “Essex County Kevin J. Ryan Sheriff’s Headquarters” in honor of the late Sheriff’s Chief Kevin J. Ryan has been submitted to the Freeholder Board for review.