Tim Lentz

Tim grew up in Mandeville but now calls Covington his home. He started his law enforcement career at the young age of 20, patrolling the streets of western St. Tammany Parish for the Sheriff’s Office. He graduated from the Leadership St. Tammany program in 2007 and continued his ride through the ranks of the Sheriff’s Office. He held positions ranging from Patrol Deputy and Detective, to the highest office of Chief Deputy. He was responsible for over 750 employees and a budget of more than $60 million. Tim retired in 2013 after 30+ years of service.

In October 2013, Tim was selected Chief of Police for the City of Covington, his hometown. He took over a department that was in turmoil. Officers were being arrested, the community lacked trust in the department, and the department lacked the fundamentals of police work. Tim brought in a community policing philosophy and immediately began rebuilding the relationship with the community. He started with a variety of safety campaigns, such as giving ice cream cones to those caught wearing seatbelts. During the Christmas holidays, some secret Santas from his department even passed out $100 bills to those in need.

In 2016, Tim collaborated with fellow Leadership St. Tammany graduate David Bottner (Class of 2016) to create Operation Angel, a program that would change the philosophy of law enforcement towards those suffering from drug addiction. With the cooperation of every law enforcement agency in the parish, as well as state and local officials, Tim announced the launch of Operation Angel to address the growing opioid addiction crisis in St. Tammany. No longer would law enforcement treat those suffering from addiction as a crime, but as a disease. Through a partnership with the faith-based drug rehabilitation center headed by Bottner – the New Orleans Mission and its Northshore facility, the Giving Hope Retreat – those suffering from addiction would be given help instead of handcuffs. Anyone suffering from any addiction can now walk into any law enforcement agency and simply ask for help, no questions asked. Within minutes, they are in the back seat of a police car and on the road to recovery. In the first year of the program, 132 people walked into law enforcement agencies in St. Tammany Parish and asked for help. To date, more than 200 have asked for assistance. The Covington Police Department and its partner agencies across the parish were the first Louisiana law enforcement agencies to adopt an Operation Angel program. They joined over 375 agencies in 32 states with similar programs.

Tim’s work on Operation Angel earned him an invitation to the White House to meet President Obama’s Director of National Drug Control Police, along with numerous U.S. Senators, to bring attention to the nationwide opioid problem. Additionally, Tim has received a number of local and national awards, including the Metropolitan Crime Commission’s Excellence in Policing Award in January 2017, the National Leadership Award in Gloucester, Massachusetts in June 2017, the Crimestoppers Award of Excellence in March 2018, and the Bureau of Governmental Research Excellence in Government Award in May 2018.

Tim is a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He also holds an undergraduate and master of criminal justice degree from Loyola University, where he also served as an adjunct professor of criminal justice until his appointment as Chief of Police. Tim has sat on the board of directors for the Children’s Advocacy Center and Habitat for Humanity. He is an advisory board member of STOPS (St. Tammany Outreach for the Prevention of Suicide). He also has served on a variety of other community boards. Tim has been married to his wife Suzanne for 25 years, and they have two daughters, Alex and Sydney.