How A First Responder During Hurricane Irma, Bylynn Hatcher, Became A Social Media Star Overnight

It was the funniest thing ever when I got a text from one of my best gals asking if I had been on facebook that day. I clearly hadn’t when she kept going on & on about the power of social media & how the Gainsvile Police Dept. had been the talk of the day. I was even more confused when I logged on & realized I was tagged (more than once) on the thread of all of the comments on the photos! Well ladies- I found #CopBae & got all the deets on everything him. Read below to learn not only why he became a cop in the first place, but his advice to others as well. & yes- he is single!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grown up, get your degree in etc? What is your current job?

My name Bylynn Hatcher aka Lou, I was born and raised in Alliance, OH. I attended Alliance High School where I played basketball, football & ran track. After I graduated in 2005, I earned a full scholarship for basketball to Grand Rapids Comm College where I red-shirted my first year due to a hand injury during practice. I graduated from Grand Rapids Comm College with my associate degree & later transferred schools in 2008.  I earned a second full scholarship for basketball at Ashland University,  Division 2. I graduated in 2010 with my bachelors in Criminal justice and minor in sociology. After graduating, I continued to play basketball on a semi-pro level (A.B.A.) American Basketball Association, playing for the  Stark Revolution based out of Canton, OH. My first season of play we became “Champions”.  After that season ended, I had the opportunity to play for another semi-pro traveling team based out of Gainesville, FL. Due to the fast approaching season, I had to quickly pack my bags and moved to Gainesville, FL, leaving my family and friends in Ohio and Michigan. After playing another rough season of basketball, I decided I was burned out from basketball and wanted to start a career. I became a cars salesman for a short period of time and soon relocated to a sales rep at Verizon wireless. Verizon was a professional place to work, but I didn’t feel like it was challenging enough. It was then that I decided I wanted to become a police officer.

How did it feel realizing you were a social media celebrity for a few days? How did that happen? Any crazy stories?

I didn’t feel any different, but it did feel good to be noticed/recognized at a time where your doing your best to try and protect and serve your community at it’s worst times (during Hurricane Irma). When I think about it the pics weren’t  suppose to go viral. The pics were posted on facebook by our PIO. After posting the pics, women started commenting like wild fire. A lot of the women kept asking where is the  “Hot Chocolate” (LOL!).  Once Ben posted my pics, women started making even crazier comments! I didn’t realize how much attention the photos were getting, until many people started calling and texting my phone non-stop. When I finally went to the pics and checked out the comments, I couldn’t be live some of the comments I saw. The comments were enjoyable, funny, flattering, tasteful and made me watch my back while walking down the street or conducting a traffic stop  (haha!). I will say -none of them comments took away from the real reason why we were out there during hurricane Irma. all of the first responders throughout Florida had to leave our  families home at a time they needed us most during the hurricane. As a first we know what we sign up for. When it’s time to protect and serve for your community there are no second thoughts, we run towards the trouble while everyone else run away from it.

What made you decide to start your career?

I always thought of being a police, just because of the way my friends, as well as myself, where treated by the police growing up in my hometown of Alliance, OH.  Growing up, my friends and I really had to live and deal with being profiled, harassed and mistreated by the police. Through my youth and some of my adult life, I experienced, observed, witnessed many corrupted policemen. The corruption started to get so bad at the police dept. that the policemen that wanted to make a difference in the community resigned or transferred to another agency because they didn’t want to be a part of the unfairness.

Side Note: By all means, I’m not trying to make it seem like I was a little angel 100% of the time, because I had my troubled moments as a teenager/adult.

I feel that what made me want to become a police officer  was what I experienced through my life-  good, bad, being in trouble, how sports changed the way I look at life. What also influenced my decision was what morals and support I gained from my family, friends, coaches and community. I then applied to the police academy at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL. I went through a four month program, graduated & was hired by Gainesville Police Dept.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

My 8 year old son, mom, dad, all my brothers and sisters and close friends. Wanting to be the best I can be at all times, even when my enemies wish & pray on my downfall. Being healthy, staying physical fit, having a healthy diet, making people smile and making a difference not only in my life, but others life’s as well.

What is your favorite quote & why?

“Everything happens for a reason” and “What goes around comes around” I live by these quotes, because it helps me put myself in other people shoes and try to understand their problems and struggles.

What’s something you would tell your 20-year-old self?

Never regret anything you’ve done in life. Learn from your mistakes- they will make you a better/wiser man in the future. Last but not least, embrace all your enemies hate (!!!!).

What is your end goal with your career? What do you want to accomplish?

To be successful & influence as many people as I can while making a difference at the same time.

What are the 3 most important things you would tell someone starting off in their career?

  1. Never jeopardize your morals for anyone.
  2. Always be confident and believe in yourself.
  3. Know your worth and know yourself as person. 

What is your favorite thing to do regarding your field?

I really like to interact with the people in the community and change some of the negative perceptions that some citizens have about cops.

What is your least favorite?

Paperwork. An arrest or a use of force can last two minutes or less & the paperwork can last hours. Documentation and reports are very important in law enforcement.

What has been the most surprising challenge within your field?

Always trying to stay two steps ahead of the criminals. Many criminals are very creative & continuously think of new ways to try and out smart the law.

I would just like to give a special thanks to all my family and friends and everyone whoever supported me in whatever I did in life. I love you & thank you with all my heart.  It’s not as easy as people think to be a first responder. It takes a strong minded, brave hearted, unselfish, polite, caring person to do this job everyday. I also like to thank everyone who supports first responders and their braveness. – Bylynn Hatcher


Until Next Time!



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