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ANNAPOLIS - A man who served as Cecil County's first heroin coordinator is one of the latest recipients of the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award.

The award was bestowed upon Raymond Lynn by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot on Wednesday during a virtual ceremony, which, in addition to acknowledging Lynn's contributions in Cecil County, honored four other recipients from Baltimore City and Baltimore, Carroll and Harford Counties for their work.

The late William Donald Schaefer, who is the award's namesake, is well-known for the premium he placed on people and for his efforts to improve their lives during his 50 years of public service, which included serving as Baltimore City mayor from 1971 to 1987, as Maryland governor from 1987 to 1995 and as state comptroller from 1995 to 2007.

"These recipients best exemplify the philosophy William Donald Schaefer had for helping people during his 50 years of service . . . He was legendary for his adherence to the maxim that government must act swiftly in response to the needs of its citizens," Franchot commented at the outset of Wednesday's virtual ceremony, before referencing Schaefer's famous "Do It Now" slogan.

Speaking specifically about Lynn, who served as Cecil County's first heroin coordinator from December 2016 through December 2020, Franchot summarized, "He went to war against the opioid crisis. He approached the crisis by focusing on the children orphaned by the opioid epidemic, getting them the treatment they needed - free of charge - to build opiate-free lives."

After graduating from Bohemia Manor High School in 1993, Lynn went on to serve 23 years as a Maryland State Police trooper. Not long after retiring from MSP, Lynn, who also served as a volunteer firefighter, accepted the newly-created heroin coordinator position.

During his four years at that post, before retiring in December, Lynn made great strides in establishing systems and protocols designed to efficiently battle the opioid crisis in Cecil County, in addition to the overall drug problem.

One of the many people aware of Lynn's accomplishments is James Greene, who was hired to replace Lynn after serving some 25 years with the Cecil County Sheriff's Office before retiring from that agency in December at the rank of lieutenant.

“Ray did a lot of wonderful things getting the (heroin coordinator) program up and running here. He built it from the ground up. He created the forms and the system in which information is reported and data is processed. He also established and developed relationships with agencies and groups in this county and in other jurisdictions,” Greene told the Cecil Whig in December. “He set a solid foundation and I want to build on what he started.”

According to a statement issued by Franchot's office after Wednesday's ceremony, "(Lynn) was chosen for his unwavering determination to change the lives of children victimized by the opioid epidemic. The retired Maryland State Police trooper was committed to securing free assistance that helped young people overcome their struggles so they could pursue healthy, productive lives."

This article originally ran on cecildaily.com.

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