The District Attorney office’s newest staff addition has an impressive resume and calls the Bronx her home.
Last month, DA Darcel Clark announced the appointment of Patrice O’Shaughnessy as the director of public information for the office.
Born and raised in Parkchester, O’Shaugh-nessy, who attended St. Raymond Academy for Girls, graduated from Fordham University with a degree in communications/journalism in 1980.
After graduating from Fordham, she began what would become a 33-year career at the New York Daily News – starting as a copy person/messenger and quickly working her way up as a crime reporter for the News’ Bronx Bureau previously located at Williamsbridge Road.
O’Shaughnessy, who also covered political and human interest events, was later assigned to the Daily News’ Police Headquarters Bureau and Manhattan Federal Court.
She was a Sunday feature writer for over 15 years and also wrote a weekly column, fittingly named, ‘Around the Bronx.’
In 2010, with 30 years of ink under her fingernails, O’Shaughnessy returned home to the Bronx as the Daily News’ Bureau Chief.
She would hold the position for three years before leaving the Daily News and co-founding a media website that covered local elections and political races.
In recognition of her many stellar achievements and accomplishments, O’Shaughnessy has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Mike Berger award, which she received from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1998, an award which honors ‘thought-provoking human-interest reporting about the lives of ordinary people.’
She had also been the recipient of awards from the Associated Press, the New York Press Club, the Newswomen of New York and the Society of Silurians.
O’Shaughnessy was also one of the members of the Daily News staff that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 ‘for its vivid and detailed on-scene coverage of the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York City.’
“This is such a wonderful opportunity,” O’Shaughnessy said on being appointed to the position of the Bronx DA’s director of public information. “I look forward to making changes and improvements here (in the Bronx), and most importantly, continuing to make the Bronx safer. I’m so thrilled that I am going to be a part of that.”
O’Shaughnessy covered crime stories in the 1980s – back when crime rates in the Bronx were still going through the roof following the arson epidemic of the 70s.
She also covered stories on the mob in NYC, as well as Mother Teresa’s funeral in Calcutta in 1997 and the Columbine, CO school shootings.
“I wanted to give victims, relatives and witnesses a voice and I felt that crime in the Bronx wasn’t getting a lot of attention at the time,” she said. “That drew me to covering those kinds of stories even more and I just stuck with that – I always felt like it was the most important issue to cover.”
As the new director of public information, O’Shaughnessy succeeds Terry Raskyn, who held the position from April 2014 to February 2016. Before Raskyn, the position was held by Steven Reed for 25 years under previous Bronx DA Robert Johnson.
“The most important task right now is to keep the Bronx safe,” she said. “Along with that, I hope that we (the DA’s office) can help the community regain the trust of the criminal justice system here in the Bronx.”