NEW ORLEANS – Fourth District General Assignment Detective Mark Lynch took a chance and “hit the reset button” on his life in October 2014. At the age of 36 he packed his belongings into a U-Haul trailer and headed south to New Orleans with only his dog and a burning desire to be a police officer. Today he’s a proud homeowner and an even prouder new dad, thanks in part to a local girl named Maria that Lynch calls the love of his life.
Where are you from?
“I’m from Lowell, Massachusetts – which is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, by the way.”
Why did you want to become a New Orleans Police Officer?
“I kept trying to get on the force in my hometown but I kept missing the mark. One year I scored 10th highest on the test and they hired 8 people. The next time I was the 12th highest and they hired 11. So I started looking around and I saw that New Orleans was hiring and I applied. It was the second best decision I’ve ever made. The first was when I decided to date Maria.”
What is the biggest challenge you face in your job on a day-to-day basis?
“Lately the hardest thing for me is leaving my son Jack. I go to work at 8:30 p.m. and I don’t get home until after 5 a.m. when he’s asleep. Then he goes to daycare when Maria goes to work and I go to sleep. We’re like ships that pass in the night.”
What do you like most about your district?
“I just have so much fun. Every day is different and you never know what you’ll be doing. I mean, I’ve even wrangled a cow on my shift. One got out of the pasture on Tullis and I had to use the siren to herd it back to the gate. There’s the ‘serious crime stuff’ too, but because of the variety of calls we get, I feel like it makes me more well-rounded as an officer.”
Who has had the biggest influence on you (or your career)?
“I’d have to say Sgt. David Duplantier. He’s the best boss I ever had and I absolutely loved going to the Training Academy. My favorite classes were always the ones Sgt. Duplantier taught – he would tell stories about what he did and how he handled different situations. He’s always been accessible and you could ask him questions. I still talk to him and get his advice on things.