Detective Bryan McMahon
Lowell (MA) Police Department
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Detective Bryan McMahon of the Lowell (MA) Police Department as Officer of the Month for May 2007.
Detective Bryan McMahon redefines the meaning of public servant through his work on-duty and off. His fundraising efforts have touched the lives of many children, giving them hope after the devastating loss of a family member — something Detective McMahon knows from personal experience.
It was roughly 30 years ago that Detective McMahon joined the Lowell Police Department. He began his career as a dispatcher and learned very quickly that policing is a dangerous profession. On November 17, 1978, Detective McMahon fielded a call for an armed robbery and immediately dispatched Lowell Police Officer Christos Rouses to the scene. Tragically, Officer Rouses was shot and killed as he struggled with the suspect. Officer Rouses is the most recent of four police officers from the Lowell Police Department killed in the line of duty dating back to 1941. They are among nearly 18,000 heroes whose names are engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC.
For Detective McMahon, the death of Officer Rouses would be just the beginning of a life dedicated to those who had made the ultimate sacrifice and to the children of his community.
In 1996, while returning from a hunting trip to Canada, Captain Stephen Smith, Detective McMahon's childhood friend and mentor, as well as three other officers from the Lowell Police Department and a member of the North Reading (MA) Police Department, were killed in a plane crash. As the nation watched and mourned for these five public servants, Detective McMahon gathered the masses and began raising funds for the 11 children left fatherless by the tragedy. Detective McMahon raised more than $100,000 to ensure that each of the children would receive something their fathers would not have the chance to give them — a college education. Out of this effort, Detective McMahon established the Lowell Police Survivors Fund, which for the past 10 years has donated money to those who have been faced with adversity or personal tragedy.
Displaying tremendous strength, Detective McMahon once again rose above tragedy — this time of a personal nature — in 1988. That year, nine-year-old Ryan P. McMahon, Detective McMahon's son, lost his battle with brain cancer and died after a valiant struggle. "Yet, even his own personal tragedy would not detour this humble and humane man from giving himself to those who are less fortunate," said Jerry Flynn, Executive Director of the New England Police Benevolent Association Local 9000. Detective McMahon started the Ryan P. McMahon Scholarship Fund in his son's honor. Now in its 20th year, the Fund has given needy children the chance to achieve the quality education they so richly deserve.
Detective McMahon worked tirelessly to have the Christos G. Rouses Memorial built in front of the Lowell Police Department. This memorial honors all four of the fallen heroes from the department. In 2006, Detective McMahon, with the assistance of two younger officers, had the portraits of these heroes along with inscriptions detailing their final tour of duty hung in the lobby of the Lowell Police Department. His efforts were applauded not only by the department, but also by the families affected by these tragedies.
As an officer, Detective McMahon has distinguished himself throughout his 30-year career, rising to the rank of Detective. During his tenure as a police instructor he taught recruits that as police officers they are given a solemn responsibility and that is to be honored above all else. "He showed me that compassion outweighed confrontation, truth overcame injustice, and that friendship is as important as family," Mr. Flynn said.
As the Vice/Narcotics Evidence Officer, Detective McMahon is responsible for the continuity of evidence in high-profile drug cases and for the storage of large sums of cash as well as narcotics to be analyzed at the crime lab. He is regarded by both prosecutors and defense attorneys as a person of impeccable integrity and professional pride, and he is considered to be an expert witness on drug cases.
Detective McMahon currently serves as President of the New England Police Benevolent Association, Inc. I.U.P.A. Local 9000, AFL-CIO and has negotiated dozens of police contracts throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is an expert on labor law and is well known and respected on both sides of the bargaining table. As a national representative for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO), Detective McMahon has extensive knowledge and vast experience in contract negotiations, fact finding, mediation, and contact arbitration.
Detective McMahon continues to serve with the Lowell Police Department. He and his wife Carol are the proud parents of a daughter and four grandchildren. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards for bravery and valor as well as outstanding police work.