By Brian Marchetti
On September 1, Officer Brian J. Kinnane was sworn in as the 22nd Police District’s newest Commander. Hand-picked by Interim Police Superintendent Fred Waller, Kinnane brings over 20 years of policing experience to his new role.
As the son of a Chicago Police Officer and the grandson of another, Kinnane always wanted to follow in his family’s footsteps and serve his community.
“It’s the family trade,” Kinnane said. “Having grown up around the police culture, I saw my father and his friends and how they looked out for each other and their neighborhood. It’s that type of camaraderie that drew me to the profession.”
Kinnane spent the first decade of his life in Garfield Ridge in St. Daniel’s Parish. After his father retired from the police and pursued a career as a lawyer for the state’s attorney’s office, the family moved to Oak Lawn. Kinnane graduated from Brother Rice High School and then attended the University of Arizona. Though he didn’t earn a degree, he found something more valuable.
“The best thing I came back from Arizona with was my wife,” Kinnane said.
The couple married in 2005 and have a set of twins that attend local area schools. Kinnane continued to pursue his degree at Lewis University where he earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in organizational leadership.
In April of 2001, Kinnane officially donned the badge of the Chicago Police Department. He first served at the 10th Police District as a tactical officer. Five years later, Kinnane moved to Area Four where he served on the gun team.
In 2010, Kinnane earned the rank of sergeant and moved to the 6th district at 78th and Halsted. There, he served as a tactical, gun team, and area central gang enforcement sergeant investigating high level gang activity, homicides, burglaries, and robberies.
Taking on the role of commander of the 22nd district comes with its own unique set of challenges, but Kinnane has faith in the staff that he leads.
“We have an amazing staff here with a great captain and fantastic lieutenants,” Kinnane said.
While his new position comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility and time constraints, Kinnane tries to spend as much time with his family as possible.
“Commanders are on call all the time,” Kinnane said. “It’s a nine-to-five job in name only. We work many nights and many weekends, but I try to make our family dinners.”
When they get the chance, the Kinnanes love to travel. They’ve been to Argentina and have attended major league baseball games throughout the country, including Fenway Park in Boston and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Kinnane said he was in awe of Dodger Stadium. “There’s something like 50,000 people there. A lot more than I’m used to when going to White Sox games.”
He and his family also devote a lot of their free time volunteering for the Special Olympics and Autism Speaks, the leading autism research organization in the U.S.
Kinnane’s experiences, both in and out of uniform, have provided him with the tools to meet the demands of his new position. The 22nd district, heavily populated with first responders, requires a leader that understands the challenges faced by the men and women who serve our community.
“We do have a lot of officers that live and work in the district and I’m in that group as well,” Kinnane said. “It’s not as much a challenge as it is a responsibility. When people go home, they’re never quite shutting it off. You’re still in the same district where you work so you’re still looking out for your family members.”