Michael Kyriakides ’16GCPS

michael kyriakides

Protecting the Public through Lifelong Learning

When two jetliners crashed into the Twin Towers on the morning of September 11, 2001, Michael Kyriakides was with fellow police officers at a training session in Bronx, NY. He and his colleagues headed for Manhattan.

“I watched the North Tower fall as we drove over the bridge,” he recalled. “The New York City Police Department is extremely proficient about training, but as prepared as we were, this was an eye-opener. We had to learn on our feet—that day and in the months after.”

The scope of local law enforcement has expanded since 9/11, Officer Kyriakides observed. Homeland security and counterterrorism are everyday concerns, especially in the New York City Police Department (NYPD), America’s largest—and by many measures, most sophisticated—municipal crime-fighting agency. “It is a new world,” said the Queens, NY, native. “I want to keep learning as much as I can to protect my city.”

Along with his ongoing NYPD training, Officer Kyriakides earned his Master of Professional Studies degree in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership through the University’s College of Professional Studies in 2016. Now he looks forward to entering St. John’s new Doctor of Professional Studies program in Homeland Security in fall 2018.

Officer Kyriakides believes his St. John’s education enhances his work at the NYPD, where he has taught in the Firearms and Tactics Section as well as the Training Section in the Counterterrorism Division. He also has served as a consultant to other agencies, including the Massachusetts State Police and Brazilian law enforcement. “When you teach,” he said, “you shape, as well as save, lives.”