Public Safety Director Ambrose was born and raised in Newark. He received both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Farleigh Dickinson University. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
In 1986, Director Ambrose joined the Newark Police Department as a police officer and rose through the ranks. He was promoted to the department’s Chief of Police in 1999. In 2006, he was appointed as the Police Director, overseeing more than 1400 sworn officers and managing an annual budget of $123 million.
Director Ambrose joined the Essex County Sheriff’s Office in 2006 and served as Undersheriff before being hired in 2008 as Chief of Detectives for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
In 2015, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka had a vision of merging Police, Fire, and Emergency Management under a Department of Public Safety with a goal of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness in delivering emergency services. He tapped Ambrose to head the Department a position he accepted in January of 2016.
As the head of the City of Newark’s new Director of Public Safety, Ambrose assumed the helm and immediately initiated the process of consolidating police, fire, and emergency management operations. Director Ambrose oversees more than 1960 employees comprising 996 sworn police officers, 611 firefighters, and 346 civilian employees and manages a budget that exceeds 200 million.
Director Ambrose attributes much of his success to his strong work ethic and two simple doctrines which he practices and constantly emphasizes, “relentless follow-up is the key to success” and “treat the people as if they are relatives you love and respect.”