Tim Lentz started his law enforcement career at the age of 20 patrolling the streets of western St. Tammany Parish for the Sheriff’s Office. He proceeded through the ranks of the Sheriff’s Office to the highest office of Chief Deputy. Tim retired after 30 years of service in 2013. After a brief retirement, the position of Chief of Police became available in Tim’s home town of Covington, Louisiana. In October 2013, Tim became the Chief of Police in the City of Covington, taking over a department that was in turmoil. Tim brought in a community policing philosophy and immediately began rebuilding the relationship with the community.
In May of 2016, Tim announced the launch of Operation Angel and the Covington Police Department and their partner agencies across the parish became the first law enforcement agencies in the State of Louisiana to join PAARI. With the cooperation of every law enforcement agency in St. Tammany Parish, the District Attorney, Judges, Public Defender, Supt. Folse, Defense Attorneys, Parish President, Coroner, and other stakeholders, Tim announced a change in philosophy for law enforcement in St. Tammany Parish. No longer would law enforcement treat those suffering from addiction as a crime, but would now treat it as a disease. Through a partnership with the New Orleans Mission and their facility on the Northshore called Giving Hope Retreat, those suffering from addiction would be given help instead of handcuffs. Anyone suffering from any addiction could walk into any law enforcement agency and simply ask for help, no questions asked. Within minutes they were in the back seat of a police car on their way to their 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.
Tim has been recognized with numerous awards for this work, including the 2017 Excellence in Policing Award from the New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission, the 2017 PAARI National Leadership Award, the 2018 Crimestoppers Award of Excellence, and the 2018 BGR (Bureau of Governmental Research) Excellence in Government Award.
Tim is a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico Virginia. He also holds an undergraduate and master of criminal justice degrees from Loyola University, where he also served as an adjunct professor of criminal justice. Tim has sat on the boards of directors for the Children’s Advocacy Center and Habitat for Humanity, and is an advisory board member of STOPS (St. Tammany Outreach for the Prevention of Suicide). Tim is also a member of PAARI’s National Police Advisory Council.
Tim is married to his wife Suzanne of 27 years. They have two daughters, Alex, who graduated from LSU and is working in marketing for the family business, and Sydney, who is a Junior at LSU’s nursing program.
After retiring from his position as Chief of Police in 2018, Tim joined the PAARI team as a Police Outreach Mentor in October 2020. In this role, Tim provides guidance and support to PAARI’s Police Training & Outreach team, which includes 8 full-time Recovery Corps national service members (6 regional police outreach members, a Police Outreach Leader, and a Training & Resource Development Leader). Tim is excited to share his community policing philosophy and help new police departments launch programs of their own.