Joseph McNamara, Hoover research fellow, dies at 79

Oct. 4, 2014, 12:07 p.m.

Joseph McNamara, former Hoover Institution research fellow and San Jose police chief, died of cancer last month. He was 79.

McNamara is largely remembered as a national voice for the criminal justice system and law enforcement. His own law enforcement career spanned 35 years and involved roles in the New York City Police Department, as police chief in Kansas City and as police chief in San Jose until his retirement in 1991. In 1980, he was appointed to the advisory board of Bureau of Justice Statistics by the U.S. Attorney General.

After his retirement from the force, McNamara devoted himself to research and other published work that covered various aspect of criminal justice, the war on drugs and arguments supporting the demilitarization of police forces in the United States in the wake of this summer’s Ferguson shooting and riots.

He is survived by his wife Laurie and his children.


Ileana Najarro is the Managing Editor of News at The Stanford Daily. She previously worked as a News Desk Editor and Staff Writer.

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