Retiring police officer Patrick Finn spent his 33 years working as a force for change in the multiple communities he served. For the past three years he has spent his time invest-
ing in the lives of Wilsonville High School students as the resident student resource officer.
"It's been the most rewarding job I've ever had," Finn says. "I am really proud of the last three years working as a student resource officer."
Prior to taking the job in Wilsonville, Finn asked for some advice from another officer who had worked in a high school setting.
"He gave me some great advice," Finn says. "Once they see that you are here to stay in their lives, they will adopt you as their own."
For Finn, it's all about being present in the lives of the students he serves.
"When I started this job, an administrator told me that there was one group of particularly troubled students," Finn says. "I made it my project to break down that group and change their perspective. To this day, I still have a relationship with one of the kids who graduated my first year working at the high school. Sometimes we even meet and go to lunch."
Finn's career spans over multiple decades and city limits. Over the course of his time as an officer he has worked for cities like Beaverton, Portland and Lake Oswego, where he served most notably as a patrol canine handler.
"In terms of the most fun job I ever had, it was definitely working with the canine unit," Finn says. "An officer has a special bond with their dog. For most, you see the dog more than you see your family. To me it's fascinating how a group of 10 to 15 officers might not be able to find what they're looking for, but a dog can track it down in minutes."
When reflecting on his career Finn was left with one key takeaway.
"When you first start as a cop it's all about tracking down the next drunk driver, or putting away the bad guy," Finn says. "As you get older you realize that the most valuable part of the job is interacting with the community."