December 28, 2010 > Captain Kevin Finnerty
Captain Kevin Finnerty
By Shavon Walker
Photo courtesy of Capt. Kevin Finnerty
Union City Police Captain Kevin Finnerty was recognized for his service to the community of Union City on November 23, 2010. An honored and valued member of the force, he has been with Union City Police Department for three years and has served a total of 33 years with law enforcement.
Captain Finnerty was born in Los Angeles in 1957 and lived there until he was five. He is the oldest of three children. His father served in the US Air Force, so his family moved every three or four years. After moving to Illinois, Virginia and Hawaii, they returned to California in 1973 when his father was transferred to McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento.
"Moving gave me a real appreciation of our great nation's history," Finnerty says of the experience.
In the mid-1970s, Finnerty moved to Modesto to attend Modesto Junior College, as well as California State University, Stanislaus. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication, a Master's Degree in Public Administration and became an adjunct faculty member for the Los Rios Community College District, a position he still holds today.
As a young man, Finnerty worked at Montgomery Ward and Gallo Wineries. He also worked as a civilian employee for the United States Marine Corp.
"I enjoyed working for the Marine Corp the most," he said. "I was 16 and assigned to the Boat House at the Kanehoe Marine Corp Air Station, Hawaii." His duties included maintenance and repair of the facility, and maintaining the power and sailing vessels. He also had to learn how to operate the power boats, sail, navigate on the ocean, water ski and snorkel. "My experiences in the islands developed my passion for water sports," he added.
Finnerty's career as a police officer began in 1977 with the Escalon Police Department as a Reserve Police Officer. In 1980, he joined the Modesto Police Department where he served for 27 years. In 2007, he joined the Union City Police Department as a captain.
"I can't remember a time I didn't want to be a police officer," Finnerty noted. "I enjoyed public service, problem solving, helping others and working outdoors. For me, working in law enforcement seemed like a natural fit."
In 1982, he married his wife, Sue. Their two children, Ryan and Sarah, have followed in their father's footsteps. Ryan is a Deputy Sheriff in Nevada and Sarah is a Police Explorer and college student.
"I've enjoyed every minute of my career, and would do it all over again," he reflected.
Loyalty, honesty, courage, selflessness, life-long learning and dedication to family, community and country are all a part of who he is and, he hopes, part of his legacy.
Captain Finnerty looks forward to continuing his position with the Los Rios Community College District. He is very interested in doing additional volunteer work and returning to sailing, camping, fishing and the gym.
"What the future holds is uncertain because of the endless possibilities... the activity I look forward to most is spending additional time with my wife and family as we move into this new phase of our lives."