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Veteran Hampton police officer earns promotion to sergeant

| Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 9:06 p.m.
Deborah Deasy | Hampton Journal
Sgt. Robert Kirsopp

One of Hampton's first part-time police officers is the township's newest sergeant.

On the recommendation of Hampton police Chief Michael Pecora, Hampton Council promoted Robert “Rob” James Kirsopp, 42, a Hampton father of three, to sergeant at the council's June 25 meeting.

Kirsopp joined Hampton's police squad 16 years ago as part-time officer. He spent the last six years working as a detective for the department.

“When I need something to get done, he's the one I go to,” Pecora, the chief, told council members.

Applause followed the vote to raise Kirsopp's rank.

“He's one of my favorite officers,” said Councilman Peter Russ, a lawyer.

Hampton Township manager Chris Lochner praised Kirsopp's breadth of experience as a firearms instructor, detective and field-training supervisor.

“He's an extremely well-rounded officer,” Lochner said. “He's ready for the job.”

Kirsopp's promotion wrapped up six months of preparation and testing for eight Hampton police officers who wanted to fill the job vacancy created when Sgt. William Leo retired in December 2013. Applicants had three months to study numerous textbooks before they took oral and written exams to replace Leo.

“It was a lot of reading,” said Kirsopp, who placed first after all the testing.

The Hampton Township Police Department employs 18 full-time and four part-time officers.

Kirsopp is the son of retired police officer Robert Joseph Kirsopp of Finleyville, Washington County, who worked 28 years for the Mt. Lebanon Police Department.

He has a twin brother — Rodger — who is a New York state trooper. So, Kirsopp said, the affinity for police work runs in his family..

“I really enjoy helping people, and that really sounds like a basic recruit's type of answer, but I really enjoy helping people,” he said. “I like the challenge of solving a problem — efficiently.

“We may not solve it, but we resolve it for at least a period of time and maybe point people in the right direction.”

As part of his new job, Kirsopp will oversee eight-hour shifts of fellow officers and be in charge of investigations. He also will get a 10-percent pay raise and, perhaps, more time to work on his goal of training for a triathlon.

Kirsopp said he prefers morning to evening training runs.

“You like to get it out of the way. If you don't do it in the morning, you're not going to do it at all,” he said. “I'm just like everybody else. At the end of the day, I can get tired and lazy.”

Already a marathon runner, Kirsopp is an Army veteran and former military police officer whose assignments took him to Germany; Somalia; and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when he was stationed at Fort McClellan, Ala., and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., between 1990 and 1995.

Kirsopp also is a graduate of Canon-McMillan High School and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania's municipal police academy.

Kirsopp's wife, Rosalyn, works part time as a paraprofessional for the Hampton School District. The couple's three children attend Hampton schools.

If he didn't work in law enforcement, Kirsopp said, he might do home makeovers.

“I would probably be in the construction field,” he said. “I do all types of remodeling around my own house.”

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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