Colonel John A. O’Rourke began his law enforcement career in July of 1995, with the Nevada Highway Patrol as a traffic operations Trooper assigned to Reno Urban Graveyard. During his time as a Trooper he was active in impaired driving apprehension, the field training program, standard field sobriety test instruction, defensive tactics instruction and the motorcycle program.
O’Rourke was promoted to Sergeant in 2004, where he served in numerous assignments. Some of the assignments include the Reno Urban Graveyard Sergeant, Administrative Sergeant in Northern Command, and Sergeant of the Honor Guard. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in March of 2007, serving as the Administrative Lieutenant in Elko. As a Lieutenant, O’Rourke also served in numerous assignments at the Headquarters Office to include Personnel, IT, and the Honor Guard.
In May 2012, O’Rourke was promoted to the rank of Captain serving as the Rural and Commercial Operations Commander in Las Vegas. He was appointed as Commander of the Honor Guard in August of 2013. He returned to NHP Headquarters in late 2013 serving as the Research and Planning and Headquarters Commander.
O’Rourke was promoted to Major in June of 2014 to the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation Division where he served as the Deputy Chief.
O’Rourke was appointed to Lieutenant Colonel of the Nevada Highway Patrol in February of 2016. In December of 2017, O’Rourke was appointed as Colonel of the Nevada Highway Patrol serving as the Chief.
O’Rourke was the first Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper to be awarded the IACP Mountain Pacific Region Trooper of the Year. He is a James D. Hoff Meritorious Service Award and Gold Star Medal of Valor recipient. He was awarded the Nevada Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Executive Certificate in May 2014. He is a proud member of both the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Nevada Sheriffs’ and Chiefs’ Association.
Colonel O’Rourke holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Grantham University. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command class #265.
Colonel O’Rourke is married with 3 children and 3 grandchildren.