Myrtle Beach officers remember Jacob Hancher as a ‘big teddy bear,’ ‘pure good guy’
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Members of the Myrtle Beach Police Department are remembering their fellow officer Jacob Hancher, days after he was killed in the line of duty.
Words used to describe him were “big teddy bear” and “pure good guy.”
“Nobody smiles that much,” said MBPD Patrol First Class Ofc. Mark Bechtel. “The energy that he brought is what our shift really needed.”
Hancher died in an officer-involved shooting Saturday night while responding to a domestic call around 14th Avenue South.
The officers said Hancher was known for always having a massive smile on his face even in situations most people would be miserable in.
They said he worked the area the MBPD refers to as “waterfront,” which means he spent almost all his time patrolling Ocean Boulevard.
Officers said that area can lead to some interactions with many people who like to speak with officers at length, and Hancher had a natural ability to hold a conversation with anyone about anything, all with his trademark smile.
CONTINUING COVERAGE: Remembering Jacob Hancher
The officers said this summer has been scary due to issues across the country revolving around police relations.
However, Hancher’s death and the support the MBPD has received in the days since has shown how much the community cares for the community, and it makes them want to put on their uniforms, they say.
“All summer, I can say I haven’t walked outside, like gone to the store or anything with like anything police written on me just because of everything going on, but now like, us and these officers can walk around like, ‘Yeah, I’m a Myrtle Beach cop. I worked with him. I’m proud of what I do,'" Bechtel said. "This summer, that hasn’t really been a feasible option for a lot of people just because of that fear. It kind of opened that door, like, ‘Hey I’m very proud of what I do, and I’m not afraid to show it.’”
The officers said public service was always on Hancher’s heart.
“He got hired on and he was really excited about that. He always wanted to do that and wanted to be a part of this department, this community,” MBPD Patrolman Makaeley Coleman said.
The officers said they were devastated to hear of their friend’s passing.
“Nobody is signing up to get hurt or killed, obviously, and nobody deserves to die, but the first thing that I thought of, like instantly, it was just like, nobody deserves it but especially not Jacob,” Pfc Cody Kolb said. “Because of the reasons that we all just said. Just a pure, good, good guy. So that really like, that still hurts.”
The officers are determined to keep moving forward from this while always keeping Hancher in the forefront of their minds.
They said they want to make sure new officers at MBPD learn about Hancher and what happened to him so his legacy can live on forever.
The full interview with the officers can be seen below:
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