The Lynch Family continues in the field of law

Michael W. Lynch, following in the footsteps of grandfather and brother, made a lasting impression upon police work in both the City of Warwick and the state of Rhode Island. Sergeant Mike is well remembered by veteran police officers throughout the state as well as by his family members.

R.I. Municipal Police Training School

In 1971, Michael W. Lynch, long active in the social and legislative activities of the F.O.P. and an outstanding officer in his profession as Sergeant of Detectives, was given the opportunity to make his expertise available to new recruits. He was named the first director of the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training School. During the early seventies, the training program was conducted at Cooper Armory on Sandy Lane in Warwick. It was later conducted at 86 Mount Hope Ave., Providence at the former Rhode Island School for the Deaf and eventually at the U.R.I. campus in Kingston. During his tenure as director, Lynch was responsible for the training of more than 500 police officers from all departments in the state except Providence and the State Police, which have schools of their own. The years of training and education and the love of police work all combined to make Lynch one of the state's leading law enforcement officers. In 1977 he left his post as director and terminated an exciting, rewarding career.

Lt. James C. Lynch

While Michael W. Lynch was the last of the Lynch family to serve as a Warwick police officer, one of his nephews, James C. Lynch followed in the footsteps and traditions of High Sheriff Michael B. Lynch, his great, great grandfather. One of Mike W. Lynch's proudest moments occured when he was able to present his young grandnephew with the badge worn by the legendary Michael B. Lynch. The badge presented to High Sheriff Lynch in the late 19th century has been passed down through the family for over a century. In addition, James C. Lynch was presented with the gun that was once worn by Warwick Police Chief James F. Lynch. Warwick attorney John D. Lynch commented that young James C. Lynch "Never had a chance to be anything but a state trooper." He added that Chief Lynch, who was a classmate of Col. Walter B. Stone, commander of the Rhode Island State Police for many years, let the youngster ride in the police car whenever possible and thrilled the boy with stories of the exploits of the state troopers.

James C. Lynch became a state trooper at age 19 and recently retired as a lieutenant in the R.I. State police in July 1999. His retirement ended the direct participation of the Lynch family in police work.

The Attorneys

The family's concern with the law continued, however, as Chief James F. Lynch's son, grandson, and granddaughters are all in the legal profession. James' son, John D. Lynch is a Senior Attorney in the firm of Lynch and Friel. John's son, John D. Lynch, Jr.; his daughters Karen Lynch Bernard, Jennifer Lynch Buckley and Erin Patricia Lynch are attorneys as well.

The family has maintained its close ties with both the City of Warwick and also with Tollgate Road. In High Sheriff Michael B. Lynch's early days, Tollgate Road was just a dirt path and the sheriff was one of the first to build and settle there. Over the next century, his sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren have lived there. Today, the offices of Lynch & Friel are at 600 Tollgate Road and a number of family members live in the houses on Tollgate Road that were built by their ancestors.

Attorney John D. Lynch proudly points out that four members of his family are practicing law. He says that it is a record to have four children of one lawyer who are engaged in the profession. He mused over the effect this would have had on his great grandfather. The elder Lynch had great respect for lawyer Patrick H. Quinn and John D. feels he would have been very pleased with those of the Lynch family who have become attorneys. John feels that he might have expected his sons to be police officers, but would have been surprised to find that three of his great grandson's four children who have entered the legal profession are female. It would have probably been beyond old Michael B. Lynch's wildest dream. We can't help wondering how old Sheriff Mike Lynch would have felt to hear the news that the position of Kent County Sheriff has gone to a woman, Ann Castelli.

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