James Desmarais


JWU Faculty Since 2011

Associate Professor James Desmarais

Contact Info


Prior to coming to Johnson & Wales University, James Desmarais, J.D., accrued 27 years of law enforcement experience across a wide spectrum of positions. He retired as Providence Police detective captain, where he oversaw 137 detectives and detective supervisors.

Desmarais’ positions as a director have included the following departments:

Crime Scene Investigative Unit (CSI)
Police Academy and In-service Training, Narcotics

Desmarais also served as an FBI and Smith & Wesson Academy certified firearms instructor. As a SWAT team member for 25 years, he responded to dozens of critical incidents. Desmarais was a member of the Brown University Forensic Archeological Recovery Team and has authored expert opinions for several federal and state lawsuits involving police policies and practices across the country.

Desmarais obtained his J.D. from the New England School of Law and has been an attorney for 20 years. He also graduated from the Police Executive Research Forum, Senior Management for Police. He has presented seminars across the country on liability for special operations and has also been a course auditor and consultant for the United States Department of Homeland Security.


  • J.D., New England School of Law
  • B.S., Roger Williams University
  • A.S., Johnson & Wales University

Prior to coming to JWU, I accrued 27 years of law enforcement experience across a wide spectrum of positions


  • CJS 1002: Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJS 2040: Corrections
  • CJS 2050: Criminology
  • CJS 2150: Criminal Justice Ethics
  • CJS 3075: Criminal Investigation
  • CJS 4045: Criminalistics with Lab

Professional Affiliations

International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2011-present
Rhode Island Criminalistics Association, 2011-present
Rhode Island Bar, 1997-present
Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, 2011-present
Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences, 2011-present