Lydell grew up on his family's farm in Lancaster County along the Maryland border. "It was a great childhood. I learned responsibility and how to do more with less. Unfortunately, I don't see that lifestyle in my family's future." 
Lydell admits he did what was needed to graduate and little more in high school. His extra curricular activity was working part time for a masonry contractor. After graduation, Lydell continued in the masonry trade, starting his own company when he turned 21. A few years later, with his company doing well, a friend suggested he apply to be a police officer in the city of Lancaster. After considering the idea, Lydell became one of the 200 applicants for a single open position. His test results were strong, ranking seventh of the test takers with a 94 percentile score. The city of Lancaster invited Lydell in for interviews, which he took. Then there was dead silence for weeks, typical of police hiring practices. 
Lydell was finally contacted about the next step - the background investigation and polygraph test. Police background tests are thorough. Everyone Lydell knew seemed to be subjected to lengthy interviews. Again, there was a several week period of silence before Lydell was offered the job, which he took. Lydell found he loved police work because of the interaction with all kinds of people. While being a police officer and operating his masonry business with dozens of employees, Lydell went to college for a criminal justice degree to further his abilities in policing. Lydell finally sold his masonry business in 2010 as he moved up the ladder in policing. 
Lydell still uses one of the questions he was asked in his initial interview to be a police officer when interviewing officer candidates. "Do you have a moral objection to using deadly force?" Lydell explained, "The critical moments in policing require split second decisions under stress. This question replicates that situation in an interview environment." What Lydell is evaluating beyond the specific answer is how quickly the candidate responds. By the way, Lydell answered this question uniquely. He has a moral objection to choosing to use deadly force, but he isn't making that decision. The other person involved is by his actions.