Members of the Lynnwood Police Department on Monday mourned the death of 35-year veteran police officer Mark Brinkman, who served as the department’s drug recognition officer and president of the department’s police guild.
Friends and colleagues remember Brinkman as a hardworking police officer, devoted husband and father, and strong leader and mentor. According to a letter signed by Lynnwood Police Chief Jim Nelson, Brinkman collapsed at his home the evening of Sunday, April 11, and was rushed to the hospital where he died. He was 56 years old.
“Mark was a very dedicated law enforcement professional, friend, father and husband,” Nelson said. “I will miss him personally, and the members of your department are grieving his loss.”
Brinkman began his law enforcement career in the City of Langley, before transferring to the Island County Sheriff’s Office. He was hired by the Lynnwood Police Department in 1996.
According to Nelson, Brinkman distinguished himself as a leader regionally as the vice-president of WACOPS (the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs) and locally in his service as the president of the Lynnwood Police Guild.
Brinkman was especially passionate about traffic safety where he was widely recognized for his specialized work as a Drug Recognition Expert and trainer. He also became a fixture in the region, serving as a Law Enforcement Liaison to the Target Zero program — a statewide highway safety plan aimed at reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Washington’s roadways to zero by the year 2030.
“He served his family well, his Whidbey community, his church family, City of Lynnwood, his LPD family, other fellow first responders and more,” said Lynnwood City Councilmember Shannon Sessions. “This is a shocking, sudden, major loss.”
Additionally, Brinkman was awarded the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s (WTSC) 2016 Law Enforcement Liaison of the Year.
Lynnwood Today interviewed Brinkman on video in 2018 for his work as a drug recognition expert. You can view that interview here.
He is survived by his wife Leslie, two adult sons and a daughter.
–By Cody Sexton