Seasoned veteran joins SCCPD
To the casual observer, Solano Community College Police Officer Joe Finnigan may just seem like an “average Joe.”
The difference between him and those other “Joes” is that he has over three decades of police experience under his belt.
It may not bring the excitement of patrolling the areas of North Beach, the Sunset District, or South of Market in San Francisco, but for Finnigan, the SCC campuses suit him just fine.
Most people don’t know that he’s a retired 34-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, and a third generation officer at that. Finnigan’s grandfather, Frank Kennedy, father Dennis, and uncle all patrolled the streets of San Francisco before him.
Finnigan specialized as a traffic officer, a position he held for over 13 years, but held lots of assignments within the department.
Early in his career, he held a position as a student resource officer at local San Francisco schools. He also helped escort and guard prominent guests who visited the city, including Pope John Paul II in 1987 and the Queen of England.
He decided in the mid-2000s that retirement was a good option.
“Once you hit 30 years you hit maximum pension, so after that you’re basically working for nothing,” said Finnigan of the SFPD’s retirement plan.
He saw that the Fairfield Police Department was hiring part-time officers early in 2006. Finnigan applied and in Aug. of that year, was hired and put in for his retirement with the SFPD.
Finnigan said that FFPD job was more of a desk job, and that he preferred working outdoors. That’s when he saw an opening for a part-time officer at SCC. He applied and was hired in February 2008.
“I liked it so much that I applied for a full-time position,” Finnigan said. “I like the responsibilities; I like the patrol aspect of it.”
Even though he’s retired, he plans to stay with the SCCPD, for at least five more years.
“He’s a seasoned veteran with over thirty years of experience,” said SCCPD Police Chief Steve Dawson. “…he’s willing to burn the candle at both ends that is being able cover shifts during our staffing crisis.
His experience working with an educational system while in San Francisco gave him a head start as opposed to someone who’s only done municipal police work in the past.”
“To me it just fits me,” Finnigan said. “It’s a good fit for a retired officer.”