Prof. O'Hara in his office at home
Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., Syracuse University (1981, Public Administration)

M.P.A., Baruch College (1977, Public Administration)

B.B.A., Baruch College (1971, Public Administration)


Dr. Patrick O’Hara served as a full-time faculty member at John Jay College from 1980 – 2020, teaching primarily in the Master of Public Administration Program, and was on the faculty of City University of New York's Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice from 2006 – 2018.

Dr. O’Hara’s research focuses on organization and management.  He has written books on public administration and challenges for first-time managers. Organizational dysfunction is his particular research interest. Dysfunction at the intersection of police organization, workplace culture, community and criminal justice policy is the subject of Why Law Enforcement Organizations Fail, whose third edition was published in 2019 by Carolina Academic Press. He served on Philadelphia’s Special Independent Advisory Commission (2013-14) investigating the deadly building collapse that crushed a Salvation Army store, where he analyzed the role played by management challenges in the city’s regulatory agencies.

Dr. O’Hara helped develop and lead the NYPD Leadership Program, a John Jay academic program delivering credit-bearing management and community relations courses to NYPD officers. Professor O’Hara was an exchange scholar at the Bramshill Police Staff College in England, served as Coordinator of the Conference on Criminal Justice Education and is a past-President of the New York State Political Science Association.

Courses Taught

Dr. O'Hara is not currently teaching.  He has, over the course of his career, taught most courses in the MPA Program, and helped shape that curriculum as a faculty member, program director and project leader in crafting the MPA curriculum for online delivery.

Professional Memberships

American Society for Public Administration

Scholarly Work

Why Law Enforcement Organizations Fail, 3nd Edition, Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2019.

“Monetizing the Police: Corruption Vectors in Agency-Managed Off-Duty Work.” Policy and Society 34, 2 (Co-authored with Vincenzo Sainato)

“Social Capital in the City: Community and Civic Life in Philadelphia.”  Review.  Journal of Planning Education and Research, 26, 4 (Summer 2007)

First-Time Manager. New York: MacMillan, 1987.  (Co-authored with Joan E. Iaconetti).

Public Administration: Organizations, People and Public Policy.  New York: Harper and Row, 1979. (Co-authored with Samuel J. Bernstein)

Honors and Awards

Outstanding Online Teaching Award. 2014. John Jay College of Criminal Justice. City University of New York.

John Jay/Bramshill Exchange Professor. 2006. Leadership Academy for Policing, Central Police Training and Development Authority (CENTREX), United Kingdom.

Chancellor’s Certificate of Recognition.  2005.  Presented by the City University of New York to faculty recipients of major institutional grants for public service, specifically for bringing the New York State Law Enforcement Executive Institute to John Jay College.

Certificate of Commendation.  2002.  Presented by the President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in recognition of the development and implementation of the NYPD Certificate Program.

Distinguished Service Award.  1996.  New York State Political Science Association.