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2 part-time Hampton officers get full-time duty

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Deborah Deasy | Hampton Journal
Chris Finnigan, left, Victor Son, Chief Michael Pecora and Jeffrey Haus were all smiles following a Hampton Township meeting where Finnigan and Haus were announced as new hires.

Two former U.S. Marines recently became full-time Hampton police officers.

Part-time officers Jeffrey Haus, 36, and Christopher Finnegan, 44, gained full-time status at the Dec. 18 meeting of Hampton Council.

Their promotions come after the retirements of Sgt. William Leo, who joined the Hampton Police Department in 1983, and officer Darryl Guthrie Sr., who joined the department in 1978.

“They've done a great job in the years they've been here,” Hampton police Chief Mike Pecora said about Leo and Guthrie.

Hampton has 22 police officers, including the chief and four part-time officers. Haus and Finnegan will be paid $46,360 in 2014.

Finnegan, a part-time officer since 2006, is a graduate of Carrick High School in Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County Police Academy. He and his wife, Melanie Tush Finnegan, who works in marketing for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, live in the Overbrook section of Pittsburgh.

“I grew up in the South Side-Arlington area,” said Finnegan, whose resume includes four years of active duty with the Marines in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, plus four years in the Marine Corps Reserve.

“I was in the infantry,” said Finnegan, also a former armed security guard at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin and former police officer for Port Authority of Allegheny County and for Edgeworth, Sewickley and Rankin.

“I was trying to get some experience,” said Finnegan, who gave up his job as a part-time Edgeworth officer to work full time in Hampton.

“Hampton had everything I wanted to have in a police department — a nice-size town, good businesses, average working people ... a nice mix of everything,” he said.

The son of Charlotte Finnegan of Pittsburgh's South Side and the late Howard Ronald Finnegan Sr., he is the first police officer in his family of tradesmen, including ironworkers, welders, contractors and mechanics.

“When I was in the Marines and nearing the end of my enlistment, I was thinking of what I wanted to do when I got out, and being a police officer is what I came up with because it's very similar,” Finnegan said,

Haus, who joined the Hampton police in 2005, is a Hampton High School graduate and former Allegheny County deputy sheriff. Haus also is a graduate of the Allegheny County Police Academy.

He and his wife, Beth, a teacher for the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, live in Neville Township. They have two sons, Tyler, 3, and Brandon, 2.

“To be able to work for your hometown, that's where I wanted to be,” said Haus, son of Carol and Greg Haus of Hampton. “My father was a state trooper . . . I remember being a small kid and seeing the car and the uniform.”

Haus also remembers liking his father's fellow state troopers.

“They were just nice people,” Haus said. “I saw what good they did, and it just kind of shaped me, and that's what I wanted to do.”

Haus initially worked for the Ohio Township Police Department after serving from 1998 to 2002 with the Marines in Naples, Italy, and Twentynine Palms, Calif.

He attended Clarion University before joining the Marines with the idea of eventually making a career in law enforcement.

“Oftentimes, I run into old friends and family, and Hampton is a great community ... That's why I like the job,” he said. “For me, it's about helping people and giving back to the community.”

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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