Published 01/15/12

New DPS director named

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (Jan. 15, 2012) -- Stephen M. Bannon, who has had a distinguished 25-year career with the Rhode Island State Police, has been named director of Bryant University's Department of Public Safety, effective Jan. 17, 2012.

Bannon, of Smithfield, R.I., joined the State Police in 1986 as a trooper and rose through the ranks, achieving the rank of major and serving as chief administrative officer responsible for personnel and fiscal management of the 280-plus State Police employees.

"A nationwide search for Bryant's new public safety director produced a number of excellent candidates and ended right in our own backyard," said J. Thomas Eakin, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, to whom Bannon will report. "Major Bannon's unique blend of ground-level skills, labor relations experience and executive-level leadership made him the ideal candidate."

Bannon's accomplishments include:

  • establishing the R.I. Department of Public Safety, which included creating or amending more than 100 statutes and designing a command structure necessary to bring five state agencies under the umbrella of the State Police superintendent;
  • developing policies that led to the State Police's recognition as a "flagship agency" by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies;
  •  leading the 10-person Financial Crimes Unit, which oversaw the state's first public corruption case involving the use of a wire (telephone) intercept.

Bannon received a JD in 1997 from Roger Williams University, where he also received a BS in administration in 1989. He also is a 1986 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where he received a bachelor of science in accounting. In 2006, he graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. He is a member of the R.I. Bar and the Federal Bar, U.S. District Court.