Loved ones gathered yesterday evening at the Kingston Public House in Northern Crown Heights to help celebrate the retirement of Detective Robert Lynch from the New York Police Department’s 77th Precinct.
Lynch retired after 20 years of service to the city. Those who were in attendance included Detective Lynch’s wife and daughter, two brothers, his Commanding Officer, John Buttacavoli and President of the 77th Precinct Community Council, James Caldwell.
As host, Caldwell sang the praises of Lynch as he got to know him over the years and recounted the times he showed selflessness and hardworking efforts both in and out of uniform for the community in which he worked.
Lynch started out as an officer at the 20th Precinct in Upper Manhattan where he served as a first responder in the unfortunate 9/11 events. He became Detective at that precinct in 2004 and was then transferred to the 77th Precinct where he was assigned to a summer initiative to reduce violent crimes.
Lynch requested to finish his career at the precinct as he describes the wonderful people he worked with and the incredible impressions they left on him.
Caldwell recently joined the Republican Party, where he supported the campaign and election of Donald Trump. He expressed that his change in political party was because he was tired of the Democratic Party not doing anything. He felt the Republican party were doers and wanted to be a part of the party that helped the community by doing rather than just saying.
While getting to know Lynch, he attended one of President Trump’s events. With the help from Trump, Lynch and Caldwell connected with the right people to help an elderly, homeless woman in the community find a home in June of 2017. That woman was Mary Lee Ward who was also in attendance at Lynch’s retirement.
Recently there has been an unfortunate cluster of police officer suicides in the city. This includes a NYPD Deputy Chief who was facing mandatory retirement, an officer who was going through a divorce, a homicide detective and then most recently a veteran officer who was found deceased in his Long Island home.
In the 1980s, there were corruption issues that prompted the suicides of officers who were not willing to receive the punishment for the crimes they committed while in uniform. Thirty years later, Lynch attributed the onset of suicides to the lack of support when officers actually come to their departments for help.
Lynch feels officers who have some mental issues and depression are either dismissed completely after a “24-hour watch” or “they take your gun and shield from you which creates a stigma among fellow officers.”
“While you want the help you don’t want to feel powerless or looked at as weak when you’re just trying get help while still doing your job,” Lynch said.
Although Detective Lynch is leaving earlier than planned he has plans of possibly moving out of state with his family to enjoy a quieter life with less stress to start his new chapter.