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LPD Lieutenant Lukach honored by VFW award

Lincolnton Police Lieutenant Kent Lukach has been named one of this year’s Veterans of Foreign War Officers of the Year.
Lukach received the award at the Lincolnton VFW post last week along with Sheriff’s Deputy Kelly Paris and Marc Waller of the N.C. State Highway Patrol.
The 26-year veteran says the honor carries more meaning for him knowing that his fellow officers voted for the award. Lukach said Chief Rodney Jordan placed a ballot box at the department for officers to vote.
For Lukach, helping people has been the most rewarding aspect of his job. He has also enjoyed working in the town where he grew up.
“A good police officer must love the city that he polices, and I do love Lincolnton,” he said. “Having grown up in this area, I feel like I am sympathetic to the needs of the people because I’ve seen first hand the economic declination of the people I serve.”
The VFW honor comes just months before he plans to retire, but he doesn’t intend to fully leave the law enforcement field after his July retirement.
Instead, he plans to continue teaching Basic Law Enforcement Training classes in Catawba and Gaston counties, something he’s done since 1991.
Lukach said his reasons for getting into law enforcement are simple.
“Just positive interaction with law enforcement as a youth,” he said.
He first came on board at the Lincolnton Police Department as a patrol officer after four years in the Marine Corps where he was involved in the Beirut, Lebanon conflict in 1983.
During his time in the military, he also received several accolades including two navy unit citations, a Marine Corps expeditionary medal and a combat action ribbon.
Although Lukach has been with the local police agency for more than a quarter of a century, he also spent a month as a former Soviet Union officer on a police exchange trip in 1994.
Lukach received additional criminal justice training by graduating from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s top-notch academy in 1997.
He also serves as an instructor in many areas of the law enforcement field and was even promoted to overseeing police training and crime prevention at the city department shortly after receiving lieutenant honors.
In addition to instructing police academy students, Lukach teaches the American Red Cross portion of allied health during the first semester of each school year to area high school seniors interested in obtaining a Certified Nurse Assistant license.
Lukach has also traveled to a number of police departments and universities across the state as a premier bike instructor.
Chief Rodney Jordan considers Lukach a dedicated and valuable member of the force.
“He has been instrumental in training members of this department,” he said.
Jordan also commends Lukach for his “natural ability to brighten one’s day and bring out the best in the people he comes in contact with.”
Lukach credits his “loving, positive and supportive” parents with making him the person he is today.
“People always say to me, ‘Your parents did a good job,’” he said. “I owe my character to them.”
Lukach currently lives in Lincolnton with his wife Mira, and the couple have two children, Matthew, 21 and Kara, 17.
by Jenna-Ley Harrison

Image courtesy of Web | Lincoln Times-News

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