Charles Younkin

Founder of Lines of Heroes Foundation

About Charlie

Charlie Younkin, a dedicated law enforcement professional and advocate for mental health, was born in Manassas, Virginia, and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Growing up, Charlie was deeply influenced by his father’s service in the US Army. Tragically, his father lost his life in an accident in Warren, Michigan, in 1980, which had a profound impact on Charlie’s life and shaped his future journey.

After completing high school in 1992, Charlie’s strong sense of duty and desire to serve led him to join the Detroit Police Department in August 1994. Over the course of five years with the Detroit Police Department, Charlie dedicated himself to his role as a police officer, working tirelessly to protect and serve his community. Unfortunately, during this time, he experienced the heartbreaking loss of multiple friends and colleagues who were killed in the line of duty.

December 5th, 1998, marked a pivotal moment in Charlie’s life when he tragically lost his very good friend and fellow officer, Shawn Bandy, in the line of duty. This devastating event deeply affected Charlie, and it became increasingly clear that the toll of police work on his mental health and overall well-being was taking a heavy toll.

In August 1999, Charlie made the difficult decision to leave the Detroit Police Department and joined the Warren Police Department in Warren, Michigan. Throughout his career with the Warren Police Department, Charlie held various roles, including Patrol, SWAT, Detective of Special Victims, Sergeant of Patrol and Traffic Division, and ultimately achieved the rank of police Lieutenant of Patrol. His commitment to his work and his unwavering dedication to protecting the community remained a constant.

Charlie’s experiences in law enforcement took a toll on his mental health over the years. Recognizing the importance of seeking help, he proactively sought out his own therapy and support. Sadly, he struggled to find the necessary support and resources within the police departments he served.

After nearly 28 years of dedicated service, Charlie made the difficult decision to retire from the Warren Police Department in 2022. However, the challenges of leaving behind the support and camaraderie of his friends and colleagues amplified his mental health struggles. Tragically, Charlie also had to endure the loss of three friends who were fellow officers and ultimately succumbed to the mental health struggles associated with police work, ending their lives through suicide.

Motivated by his own experiences and the tragic loss of his friends, Charlie’s unwavering desire to make a difference led him to establish the Lines of Heroes foundation. Through this foundation, Charlie aims to bring much-needed support and resources to the heroes who need it most. His mission is to ensure that first responders and those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving others have access to the necessary support to navigate the unique challenges and mental health struggles associated with their profession.

Charlie Younkin’s journey as a dedicated police officer, his personal battles with mental health, and his commitment to helping others exemplify his unwavering dedication, compassion, and resilience. Through the Lines of Heroes foundation, he endeavors to create lasting change and support for those who sacrifice their well-being for the betterment of their communities.