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Kevin J. Ryan
Essex County Undersheriff
Former N.J. State Assemblyman, Lifelong Nutley Resident
Kevin J. Ryan, 49, of Nutley, NJ, passed away on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark on Monday, June 25 at 10:00 a.m. The cremation will be held privately.
Undersheriff Ryan was born in Glen Ridge, NJ and was a lifelong Nutley resident and long-time Democratic Party stalwart. He began his career in public service more than three decades ago as a volunteer aide at age 15 in the legislative office of the renowned New Jersey Senate President Carmen Orechio. Here, Mr. Ryan quickly proved himself as a tireless and most effective trouble-shooter and problem solver as he was elevated to a senior staff position where he personally guided his neighbors through the complexities of government bureaucracy.
His association with Senator Orechio and the first-hand experience he gained in those early years of his life paid Ryan big dividends when he served his community in the New Jersey Assembly from 2010 to 2011.
Kevin Ryan, however is best known for his public service as a law enforcement officer. Undersheriff Ryan is a twenty-six year veteran of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to his service with the sheriff’s office, he was with the Nutley Police Department for four years.
Undersheriff Ryan supervises and directs the day-to-day operations of the agency’s 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. Additionally, Ryan commands the Fleet Management Unit which includes all marked sheriff’s vehicles, unmarked vehicles and a wide variety of specialized rolling stock that are utilized for patrol, undercover surveillance, emergency management and homeland security operations.
Undersheriff Ryan is normally the first sheriff officer to arrive at the scene of any natural or manmade emergency incident where he supervises the deployment of such equipment as light towers, portable generators, road barriers and the department’s Mobile Command Post.
During his distinguished career with the sheriff’s office, Ryan has frequently been assigned to a multitude of law enforcement and public safety 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.
Undersheriff Ryan also supervises the Dignitary Protection Detail which has provided security for Pope John Paul II, Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, numerous other Heads of State, Governors, Senators and other visiting dignitaries.
Kevin Ryan also serves as Special Assistant to Cardinal Joseph Tobin, supervising and securing His Eminence’s personal safety as well as the tens of thousands of congregants who attend Mass and other functions at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Ryan served in the same capacity under Cardinal Tobin’s predecessors.
Kevin served as the Executive Undersheriff to Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura who will miss Kevin immensely.
In 2006, County Executive Joe DeVincenzo tapped Ryan to serve the Essex County Vocational – Technical School as a school board member. Working in close harmony with CE DiVincenzo, the school board, administrators and our community, it is no surprise that the school system has achieved dramatic success and national recognition. Ryan’s hard work on the school board continues today.
Throughout his distinguished and selfless career in public service and law enforcement, Kevin Ryan has earned numerous citations and accolades from civic and charitable organizations. Most notably, on November 16, 2016, Pope Francis I bestowed the honor of Knight of the Equestian Order for charitable organizations upon Mr. Ryan.
Kevin most enjoyed spending time with the Nutley “crew” and his “Jabronis”.
He is survived by his beloved brothers Thomas Ryan and Gerald Ryan and his sister-in-law Patricia; and his loving nieces and nephews John, Maura, Patrick, Erin and Kathryn.
Kevin is predeceased by his parents John and Mary (nee Kelly) Ryan and also his sister-in-law Megan Ryan.
The arrangements are entrusted to the Biondi Funeral Home of Nutley.