Coppinger Kicks Off Campaign for Sheriff

Lynn Police Chief Kevin F. Coppinger kicked off his campaign for Essex County Sheriff April 27 before a capacity crowd at the Knights of Columbus in Lynn.

Former District Attorney and State Secretary of Public Safety Kevin M. Burke introduced Coppinger and endorsed his candidacy for Sheriff.

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy also spoke at the campaign event, praising Coppinger’s record as chief of the Lynn Police Department during her tenure in office.

Coppinger has 33 years experience in public safety and law enforcement.

Following is the text of his speech at the kickoff reception:

Thank you Mayor Kennedy for your kind words of introduction. And thanks to my good friend Kevin Burke for being here for me. You set a high standard for people in law enforcement in Essex County and across the state and it means a lot to me to have your support and encouragement.

 Please allow me to introduce the most important people in my life, my family (say names: wife, children, sibs) . ..I would mention all of my relatives here by name but I know you all want to get home before dawn!…..Seriously, thanks so much to all of you…my family and friends, fellow chiefs and police officers, elected officials … for being here today. You can’t imagine how encouraging it is to me to have your support as I kick-off this campaign for Sheriff of Essex County.

This is my first time running for public office, and it’s taken me 33 years to prepare for it!

Northeastern University, Anna Maria College and the FBI National Academy taught me how to be a better police officer and chief.

For the past 33 years, the people of Lynn have educated me on a daily basis about the issues that affect our city and all communities in Essex County: domestic violence, intolerance, elder and domestic abuse, child neglect, property crimes, drug addiction, and gun violence. The causes and the cures.

I know the criminal justice and court system from the bottom up.  I’ve worked with District Attorneys, Attorney Generals, State Police, Local Chiefs and Sheriffs to make the system work better for the people we are sworn to protect.

I have listened and learned so much from the people of Lynn…our older citizens, our veterans, our immigrant neighbors, our young families, our student community, our business owners and workers of all ages and backgrounds…working with them has taught me what can be accomplished when people work together to solve problems.

I have done my best to make Lynn a safer, saner and more tolerant place to live. These experiences have prepared me well to bring new leadership to the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. They give me a keen understanding of what needs to be done at the county level to do a better job not just incarcerating criminals but in preparing inmates to reenter the community in a more productive way.

There has finally been much needed focus on the opioid epidemic that is tragically destroying so many families in this county. There are two sides to taking on this problem. Drug dealers must be taken off the streets and drug addicts must get the Detox programs critical to their recovery. The Sheriff’s Dept. must be a part of achieving those solutions. We are making some strides but we can and need to do better, much better.

I am giving up a job I have loved to put my experience to work to strengthen the Sheriff’s Department with better training for staff and corrections officers, with needed improvements in existing programs and with the development of new programs to achieve our goals.

I am very excited at the prospect of continuing a strong and effective partnership with DA Blodgett, with the Chiefs of the 34 Essex County communities and with groups an organizations across Essex County who are in the forefront of public safety efforts.

There are many candidates running for this office but I believe I am the only one who offers the depth and breadth of administrative, law enforcement and public safety experience required to bring new and innovative leadership to the Sheriff’s Department.

I look forward to campaigning through the Summer and Fall to make that a reality. To win I need your help that is for sure. I hope you will be a part of our Team.

Please know I am grateful for your support and your friendship . I won’t let you down. Thank you.

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