Legacy Snapshots

by Barbara Hart

Leading advocates reflect or recalled

Lieutenant Mark Wynn

No one who has heard Lieutenant Mark Wynn's chilling description of
the terror and brutality that his stepfather rained down upon Mark's mother
and her sons will ever forget the shock and fear experienced by the listener.
All will recall Mark's portrayal of his courageous mother, Mary Parrish. All
remember the conspiracy of Mark and his brothers to end the violence. The
young boys saw no help from law enforcement and concluded that they
must kill their stepfather to protect their mother. Having seen bug spray
commercials on television, they put bug spray in their stepfather's beer.
They were stunned when the poison did not work. Shortly thereafter, the
family was able to make their escape. Mark has been seeking safety and justice for battered women and children ever Since.

Mark served on the Nashville Police Department (NPD) for 21 years. He
was a key creator of the Domestic Violence Division, one of the first and larg-
est specialized DV investigative units in the country, and served there as
sergeant and lieutenant for six years. The 35-member unit investigated
23,000 DV incidents yearly. The DV

response protocol and training modules Mark and the team developed have
been widely used. His early recognition of stalking by batterers and the
elevated risk stalking posed to survivors propelled him to devise a "stalk
the stalker" approach to threat management of high risk batterers. He cowrote
the 40-hour POST DV /SA training curriculum for law enforcement in
Tennessee. At NPD, he worked as a patrol officer and sergeant, crime scene
investigator, and homicide detective. Mark distinguishes himself in generous sharing of his time and work product.

Mark is a powerful educator. For more than 25 years, he has traveled to
all 50 states and more than 10 countries to train thousands of police executives, patrol officers, dispatchers, prosecutors, judges, legislators, health care professionals, and advocates. From 1987 to 1988, he served as a faculty member for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (lACP) in the first national seminars for police executives on writing and implementing
comprehensive DV/SA response protocols. For 23 years, Mark has pro-
vided riveting training at the annual DV conference ofthe National College
of District Attorneys. He shares his passion, compassion, and humility in
every presentation. He is generous with the material he has developed and encourages others to incorporate it in their work.

Mark's contributions to law and public policy are legend. He has been
an advisor to state, national, and international leaders. In 1995, when Con-
gress was considering stripping the budget of millions of dollars from the
Violence Against Women Act, President Clinton invited Mark to the White
House to deliver a speech on strategies to prevent DV; the funding was saved.
In 1998, he was a member of the team selected by the Director of the Office
on Violence Against Women for the first US/Russian conference on vio-
lence against women. While there, he recommend legislation related to law
enforcement response to DV /SA to members of the Russian Duma.

In 2011, Mark informed deliberations of the FBI on revisions to the def-
inition of rape in the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR). In early 2012, Attor-
ney General Eric Holder announced revisions. These changes in statistical
reporting by law enforcement will offer a more accurate and complex ac-
count of crimes of sexual violence in the U.S.

Mark has been featured in numerous video productions, as well as broadcast
and print media. His client list runs to more than a page, single-spaced, small
font. His awards are too many to enumerate. However, in 1995 he was
selected as one of the top 10 police officers in the U.S. by the IACP's Police
and Parade Magazine, and in 2012 he received the Family Justice Center Al-
liance Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mark is a board advisor to the MaryParrishCenter for victims of DV and
SA, a therapeutic transitional housing program. The center was founded by
his wife, Valerie Wynn, in honor of his mother.

Throughout his career, Mark has eloquently spoken his respect for vic-
tim advocates. He frequently calls on audiences of criminal justice profes-
sionals to remember the advocates who have shaped their vision and practice
in the work to end DV /SA. He sincerely and powerfully recognizes advo-
cates as the backbone of the movement to end violence against women. Asked
to offer a vision and challenge to law enforcement and other DV/SA profes-
sionals, Mark wrote:

The price of indifference is too high. Consider the lives lost each day. In
those tragic moments we not only lose countless women and children, we
also lose law enforcement officerscut down giving their last full measure
of devotion protecting people they most often do not know. We must stop
making excuses. We can make change. Otherwise, we collude with the
offender. We should require annual training of law enforcement personnel,
civilian and sworn, on sex assault, domestic violence, stalking, elder and
child abuse, and human trafficking.
Every law enforcement agency must have polices on responding robustly
to each manifestation of violence against intimates and family members.
Before we hire future police officers, deputy sheriffs or civilian aides, we
must inquire about their knowledge, perspective, and personal experience
with violence against women and children. Similar inquiry should be
repeated through out their careers. Departments should promote only
those who have a vibrant vision for ending the violence. DV intervention
requires the very best of the privileged professionals called to "serve and

Enormous thanks for your diligenceand inspired leadership, Mark.

National Bulletin on Domestic Violence Prevention – January 2013 – Vol 19l