Officer Spotlight – John Coughlin
Officer John Coughlin is the recipient of the 2023 SCI Humanitarian Award! Coughlin has patrolled the Southeast Division of Los Angeles as an LAPD gang officer for 28 years. Working in one of the world’s highest crime cities is most cops’ worst nightmare, but Coughlin is different. Coughlin sees the streets as an investment opportunity and his weapon is education. 24 years ago, with the help of Coughlin’s family in Boston, the principal of Jordan High School in Watts, a college administrator, and fellow LA police officers, he created and founded Operation Progress (OP). OP has a mission to invest in youth and their families from South Los Angeles through scholarships, police mentoring and development of life skills. To date, OP has over 100 students enrolled in the program with 80% averaging 3.0 GPA or higher and over 30 LAPD police officer mentors working to help youth scholars transcend socioeconomic conditions with respect and resilience.
Officer Coughlin sets the example of how law enforcement should work in America demonstrating trust in the police-community relationship. He was born in Boston and by age 6 told his mom he wanted to become an LAPD police officer. Coughlin is different not because he knew what he wanted at such a young age but because he did it and still to this day, continues to make our world a better and safer place. Officer Coughlin has been married to his wife, Kate, for over 20 years and together they have 3 children.