Chief of Police

Colonel Stephen M. McCartney is the Chief of Police for the City of Warwick having held that position since June 1999. He was appointed by then Mayor (now former U.S. Senator) Lincoln Chafee. Colonel McCartney began his law enforcement career with the Providence Police Department in January 1974. During his 25 and one-half years with Providence, he served in all three major divisions of that department. His most significant assignments besides his tours of duty in the Patrol Bureau were as director of the city’s first mounted unit in 1979, director of training from 1982 to 1985, Commanding Officer of the Neighborhood Response Unit from 1985 to 1987, and a 11 year stint with the investigative division as a lieutenant and captain commanding the detective bureau and upon his appointment to major in 1995 commanded the entire division to include detectives, youth services, and the BCI. He was responsible for well over 150 major investigations and oversaw the Providence component of the Operation Checkmate investigation against the Latin Kings street gang. Besides numerous commendations for outstanding police work, he has been recognized for outstanding achievement by the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney, the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General, the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

He is a 1969 graduate of Providence College with a B.A. in History and a 1981 graduate of Roger Williams College with a B.S. in Criminal Justice (Magna Cum Laude). He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in June 1982 and the FBI LEEDS Program in 2002. He received a M.S. in Criminal Justice from Salve Regina in May 2001. He has been appointed by Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri as the Chairman of the Police Standards and Training Commission. He is also the 2008 President of the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association.

Colonel McCartney is also a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. During a 30-year career in the Marine Corps that started in 1969 during which 22 of those years were spent in the infantry, he served in an infantry platoon commander with the 1st Marine Division in Viet Nam (1970-71) and was Commanding Officer of 1st Bn., 25th Marines who were operationally assigned to the 1st Marine Division and participated in combat operations against Iraqi forces in Saudi Arabia/Kuwait in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-91). In 1997 and 1998, Colonel McCartney volunteered for assignment with Naval Justice School, Newport R.I. and served two tours of duty in Rwanda, Africa assisting the U.S. Embassy and the government of Rwanda in providing direction and guidance to law enforcement authorities in that country’s awesome task of prosecution of genocide war crimes.

He is married to Pauline (Ahern) and is the father of two daughters, Cara and Kerry, and the proud grandfather of two (2) beautiful girls, Ashley & Fiona; and a grandson, Robert J. In April 2012, he became a proud great-grandfather of a beautiful little girl, Madison.