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New police chief, deputy chief ready to lead Pleasant Hills department

| Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For The South Hills Record
Watching intently at the Pleasant Hills Borough meeting last week are (from left) new Pleasant Hills police Chief Brian Finnerty, former Pleasant Hills police Chief Edward Cunningham and new deputy chief Sean Greene.
New Pleasant Hills Police Department deputy chief Sean Greene (left) and police Chief Brian Finnerty.

Brian Finnerty can blame an early 1970s television show for his career choice.

“I was always interested in law enforcement,” said the new police chief in Pleasant Hills. “It was ‘Adam-12.'”

His respect for police officers grew much later, while he served as a volunteer firefighter in Forest Hills.

Finnerty, a Jefferson Hills resident, will lead a 16-member police department with Sean Greene, deputy chief, starting on Jan. 1. The men were the top two candidates, after council completed an internal search.

The choice was difficult, said William Trimbath, head of council's personnel committee.

“It was challenging because they were two excellent candidates — so well qualified, so committed to doing a good job. We are fortunate in the two we picked. We couldn't have had better candidates.”

Finnerty's salary will be $100,000.

“We were patrolmen together,” Finnerty said, of Greene. “We'll make a great team together.”

His goal always had been to become a chief. With 21 years of experience in law enforcement and 19 years in the military, he felt it was time.

“I had demonstrated my management skills as sergeant and as a tech sergeant in the Air National Guard,” he said.

He served one tour in the Middle East before 9/11 and two tours after.

“I have strong values adhering to set policies, strong motivational skills, attention to detail and good communication skills,” he said.

He said he learned a great deal from Chief Ed Cunningham, who served in the department for 37 years before retiring this year.

“He really focused on schools, crime prevention and community-oriented policies,” Finnerty said, “and he showed honesty and integrity at all times.”

Finnerty hopes to concentrate on using officers efficiently at peak times.

“I want to get the officers out there while kids are out there during arrival and dismissal times, in the business section to prevent crime and in the traffic areas,” he said, calling the department “a great group of officers.”

As he steps into his new role, Finnerty said he'll take encouragement from his family: his wife, Kim, and three sons, Brendan, Brian and Brock. He'll continue “to ensure the safety and security of the citizens and the businesses and look out for the bad guys,” a description of his job that he's offered to his children.

“My 12-year-old said, ‘I'm really proud of you' and gave me a hug,” he said, referring to when Brendan learned about his father's promotion.

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or ddreeland@tribweb.com.

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