Jonny Coughlin

Los Angeles Police Department
Police Officer III (Senior Lead Officer)

About Jonny Coughlin

Officer Jonny Coughlin is the recipient of the 2023 Safe Communities Institute (SCI) Humanitarian Award. Coughlin has patrolled the Southeast Division of Los Angeles as an LAPD gang officer for twenty-eight years. Working in one of the world’s highest crime cities is most cops’ worst nightmare, but Coughlin sees it differently. Coughlin sees the streets as an investment opportunity and his weapon is education. Twenty-four years ago, with the help of his family in Boston, the principal of Jordan High School in Watts, a college administrator, and fellow LAPD officers, Coughlin 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 the development of life skills. To date, OP has over 100 students enrolled in the program with 80% averaging a 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 six 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 twenty years and together they have 3 children.

Presentation | Community Safety Partnerships: Strength in Unity, Law Enforcement’s Collaborative Efforts Leading to Academic and Athletic Excellence

This is a dynamic presentation on the powerful impact of collaborative law enforcement partnerships with non-profits and private sector strategies. In this session you will discover how these partnerships create pathways for education, employment, and mental health support through a proven 5-pillar approach. Jonny will delve into successful strategies targeting at-risk youth from 3rd grade to college, highlighting the financial wisdom that investing in a decade of private school education outweighs the cost of incarcerating a youth for one calendar year.

We will experience the real-life success stories of two sisters, raised in the challenging community of Watts, California who defied the odds through engagement with law enforcement and non-profit strategies. One sister has graduated successfully, while the other is a college student aspiring to be an Olympic boxer. Their inspiring journey showcases the transformative potential of strategic collaborations in communities plagued by gang entrenchment.