Meet Our New Humane Society Police Officer – Officer Justin Galvin

By Krista Sobecki-Koontz, Humane Investigations Coordinator

Tell us about yourself.

Growing up I always had an interest in law enforcement. I would watch crime shows with my mother and be able to figure out how something was done and who did it. Most of the time I was right. I took multiple basic Criminal Justice classes in high school and realized that it came easy to me. I decided after high school I was going to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.

Since then I have graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice with a focus on Forensic Science. After graduation I worked multiple security jobs before I transferred into law enforcement. I worked as an officer before being promoted to a sergeant and an FTO, or Field Training Officer. During my time as an officer and sergeant I obtained multiple certifications as well as multiple National Instructor Certifications.

I also have a background in firefighting. Growing up in a home where my father ran out of the house every time the fire whistle went off, I was drawn in pretty easily. I mean, who doesn’t love big trucks with flashing lights and sirens? I joined when I was 17 years old and served the community with two different departments for over 15 years.

Why did you decide to become a Humane Society Police Officer?

I decided to become a Humane Society Police Officer because it is an extension of law enforcement. Unfortunately, humane cases aren’t always a main priority of local police. I worked a case that involved animals where a Humane Officer got involved, and I saw the depth of the investigation that he got into regarding his portion of the case. Being that it involves the investigative side of law enforcement and provides justice for animals, I decided that the change from typical law enforcement to Humane Society Police would further my law enforcement background to include animal cruelty, which is experience the majority of officers don’t have.

What are you looking forward to most about being a Humane Society Police Officer?

I am looking forward to using my law enforcement skills as well as the new training that I will acquire to be able to help animals who are suffering and don’t have someone to be their voice.

Do you have any pets of your own?

Yes, I have two dogs, a black lab and a mix who was rescued from a box on the side of the road. I also had a bullmastiff years ago when I lived with my parents. Unfortunately, I was overruled about taking him with me when I moved out. My two dogs get along well with him, so they have play dates and puppy sleepovers pretty often.

If you have witnessed animal cruelty in Allegheny County, contact our Humane Investigations team to give your eyewitness report at 412.847.7066.

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