Injured Cranberry officer will retire
A Cranberry police officer severely injured in a fall from an overpass in 2011 will retire at the end of the month.
“My injuries are sufficient enough that I haven't healed up, and I won't heal up to the point where I'm going to be able to do the job,” Dan Hahn said. “I don't want to retire, but I don't have a choice in the matter.”
Township supervisors will grant Hahn a final wish before he leaves on a retirement disability on Jan. 31. Supervisors are expected to promote Hahn from corporal to sergeant Monday.
“I feel I've earned that spot,” he said. “For them to acknowledge that and to make that happen, that really made me feel good.”
“It's not the happy ending we were hoping for, of course,” supervisors Chairman Bruce Mazzoni said. “But we appreciate his service. He's an outstanding servant for our community. We're disappointed we didn't get him back completely.”
Mazzoni said the promotion won't change Hahn's retirement compensation.
Hahn, 50, of Jackson, Butler County, suffered extensive back injuries Feb. 14, 2011, when he fell 24 feet from an Interstate 79 overpass. Thomas Booth, 22, of Volant led police on a 20-mile chase starting in Sewickley Heights and police used road spikes to stop his vehicle near the Evans City interchange on I-79. Booth ran from his car and jumped off the overpass with Hahn close behind. Both men fell to Tollgate Road below. Booth died.
Hahn suffered severe muscle spasms and other problems. He has undergone extensive physical therapy.
Since he returned to work in December 2012, Hahn has spent about 20 hours a week analyzing vehicle accident data working with the township's engineering department. He has worked in Cranberry for more than 24 years and has 32 years in law enforcement.
“He's a great guy with a heart of gold,” Cranberry police Lt. Kevin Meyer said. “You can't ask for anything more in a person and a law enforcement officer.”
Hahn said he is grateful for the support he's received from the community.
“The people of the entire area, namely Cranberry, people from all over the area have been incredible,” Hahn said. “They know the story, and people recognize me and I get a lot of hugs and kisses on the cheek and thank-yous. The people haven't forgot and it lets me know my career has made a difference.”
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.