Andy Hynek, a sergeant and commander of the Drug Task Force of La Porte County, grew up in La Porte County in the Rolling Prairie area where he attended Rolling Prairie High School. As graduation was nearing, Hynek quickly went from having no idea what he was going to do, to enlisting in the Army and shipping off to basic training.
“After I graduated high school I became an equipment operator in the army. After that, I went on to the National Guard and was involved with that until 2003,” Hynek said.
After his service, Hynek continued his education at Indiana University South Bend where he obtained his associate's degree in criminal justice. He was hired onto the Sheriff’s Department of La Porte County in 2000 and is currently leading the La Porte County Drug Task Force operations, a new unit which was created by merging the Michigan City and La Porte drug units together.
His day-to-day job duties do not include the typical officer-duties. Instead, Hynek and his team spends their days and nights buying narcotics from the streets.
“We do controlled narcotic purchases. Basically, all day long we buy drugs primarily from La Porte County… just anything narcotic related,” he said. “It is obviously something completely different everyday. We wear plain clothes and we are not married to a radio where we have to respond to calls all day.”
When needed, his team reports to calls and assists the city police officers of Michigan City and La Porte. The Drug Task Force was created this year, and the opportunity to lead the new department was given to Hynek by the local police captains and La Porte County Sheriff.
“I wanted to learn and be involved in our department as much as possible. The opportunity was presented to me in November to take over this unit in January,” he said. “The chiefs from all the agencies and the sheriff got together and decided that they wanted me to run it, so I accepted.”
His schedule is usually the normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but can vary depending on if a controlled narcotic purchase occurs after hours or not. His duty and passion to keeping the community drug free has been a lifelong commitment of Hynek’s, who spends his free time volunteering and enjoying community events.
“I am a very passionate person about giving back to the community. The community has done a lot for me, so I want to be able to give back through different volunteering opportunities and charity events,” he said.
Hynek is a people person who enjoys being around people. He joins his fellow officers at charity events in the community, like the Domestic Violence Walk at the Lighthouse Mall.
“At the Domestic Violence Walk, we get to wear high heels and ‘walk a mile in her shoes,’ which is a unique and fun way to fundraise in a non-traditional way,” he said.
He also attends fairs, the Mayor’s ball every year, and happily volunteers to represent the Sheriff’s department at events whenever they are asked.
It is his way of giving back the community where he has lived all his life, where he has worked for the last 17 years, and where he is now raising his kids. He has an 11-year-old son, who is a big Chicago Cubs fan in the making and a 3-year-old daughter, who teaches Hynek the names of her beloved princesses.
Hynek is a huge Cubs fan. He watched the first game in the World Series at Cleveland, then enjoyed the rest of the games at a friend’s bar in Wrigleyville.
“I was there in Wrigleyville across the streets when they won and I was able to celebrate with the thousands of people,” he said.
He watched the parade in the city, then for some odd coincidence, he was in Disney World with his son when the Cubs were parading their victory with the Disney crew.
Disney World with his kids is an easy, relaxing trip when it comes to the other various traveling adventures Hynek goes on. Other trips include traveling overseas to Mont Blanc in the Alps and to base camp and higher of Mount Everest. This September, he is ditching Mickey Mouse to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Hynek uses an adventure company out of Canada to lead him through these adventures. He runs a lot in his spare time build up his endurance for the climb and to beat the altitude sickness.
“Mount Blanc was not too bad, not that big,” he claimed. “Everest was tough. It (altitude) made me sleepy and I lost my appetite.”
He made it up to 20,000 feet in the icy, snowy mountain climbing up, then back down, then back up higher, and back down, letting his body slowly acclimatize to the elevation.
After every adventure, Hynek posts his amazing photos and tells his friends and family about the trip. Then, he always returns home to Rolling Prairie, Indiana where his life is.
“I love my community. I have lived here in the same community all my life,” he said. “There are days you get bored and you wished you lived next to an ocean or something, but at the end of the day, this is where I’m most comfortable.”