Sgt. E. Donald Finnegan has been selected by the nominating committee of the Rockland Police Department as police officer and employee of the year for 2009.

Selection for this award is based on the individual’s performance of duties that demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism and commitment to the principles of the mission of the Rockland Police Department, the department stated in a news release. The nominating committee consists of the deputy chief, one supervisor, one officer and one civilian employee. Finnegan was the overwhelming choice of the committee this year, according to the news release.

Finnegan started his career with the Rockland Police Department in July 1992 as a patrol officer. In May 1993 he graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy basic school. The sergeant is from the Bangor area and holds an associate’s degree in legal technology from the University of Maine. Finnegan worked for the Bar Harbor Police Department before joining the Rockland Police Department in 1992. He was promoted to sergeant at the Rockland Police Department in July 2004.

Finnegan has been instrumental in obtaining and administering many grant opportunities, according to the department. His efforts have benefited the Rockland Police Department, the city of Rockland, the Bureau of Highway Safety, and other community outreach agencies the department has partnered with, the news release stated. In the past year he was responsible for writing numerous grants to obtain in excess of $36,000 in funding.

In 2002 Finnegan was certified as a drug recognition expert instructor by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He has spent hundreds of hours assisting the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in the presentation of operating under the influence detection classes, drug recognition expert classes and other associated classes. His expertise is aimed at the education, detection and eradication of drug and alcohol motor vehicle offenses. Finnegan is recognized as a leader in his field by his peers throughout the state, according to the department. Through his efforts with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, he has demonstrated an exceptional mastery of professional skills that is recognized by his peers on a national level.

Finnegan continues to assume many duties within the department beyond what is required of his day to day performance, the news release said. He performs those duties in a professional manner and maintains a high standard of ethics. He is best described as hardworking and a consummate team player, according to the department.

“During the past year with the department, he has demonstrated that he is an extremely hard worker, always willing to assist others and readily volunteers to assist with various projects,” according to the news release. “Don subscribes to the philosophy of collective responsibility. It is not whether ‘I do a good job,’ but whether ‘we do a good job.’ Don is strongly motivated to achieve optimal results. He is a valuable asset to this organization. He distinguishes himself in every possible way and is worthy of the honor of police officer/employee of the year 2009.”