‘He’s got a legacy': Ofc. Jacob Hancher’s friend reflects on days spent watching her work

Updated: Oct. 8, 2020 at 6:38 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The owner of a graphics and sign shop in Socastee is reflecting on her friendship with fallen Myrtle Beach police Pfc. Jacob Hancher.

She said their friendship began before he was a police officer, but he would bring Myrtle Beach Police Department cars and SUVs as well as other business to her shop for the department. That’s where their friendship blossomed.

“He would bring me the police cars or he would come pick them up after I got done doing the graphics on them. And I remember the first time I met him he was shy, quiet and his partner, another CSO Officer Sean, kind of opened him up a little bit,” Debbie Flinchum, MB Showcase Signs & Reprographics said. “And from then on, he was just an open book of conversation and never, ever had anything that wasn’t positive to say. Everything was either funny or sweet, but I think the one thing that I remember of me and him and getting to know him was he was fascinated with color and graphics.”

Flinchum said Hancher would watch her work her machines and create graphics on her computer.

“It was so fascinating to him. And he’s like, ‘Wow you go too fast, wow back up, what did you just do?’” Flinchum laughed thinking about it.

She said he was always smiling.

“I love when he’d just walk in the parking lot and you would just see him. He wouldn’t be walking with anybody and he would just be smiling like at the clouds or the sky or the cars, I don’t know. Always had that smile," Flinchum remembered.

Flinchum has done signs, graphics and vehicle wraps for MBPD for years. She said she woke up to her phone going off with MBPD on the other line early Sunday morning.

“I woke up to a message that came through early Sunday morning, asking if I would make a black line for the sign at the police department. I didn’t know what had happened, I didn’t know who it was. I messaged back and asked and I was told that an officer passed away the night before. And then I said, ‘Do you mind if I ask who?’ They shared the name with me and it did not even register. I was so focused on getting my stuff and getting that black line out there,” Flinchum said. “I was in the middle of it and I was like wait a minute. That’s young Jacob. That’s when it hit me and then that very moment you think about all the people in the police department and his brothers and sisters. They’re all family. I find comfort knowing that Jacob is sitting in the face of God.”

Flinchum put the black line on the sign at the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center. She also put up the bow.

“The love and support and unity. Just everybody cares. And that’s been a long time coming to where people are filled with compassion and they just want to reach out and help the next person get through something difficult. He’s got a legacy. I mean there’s no doubt Jacob has changed so many lives. I’ll always remember him because he was just always smiling.”

The funeral programs, posters and signs as well as family memorabilia have all been made by Flinchum. They’re on display at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, where Hancher’s visitation and funeral will be held.

Flinchum also made a special magnet with Hancher’s badge and picture for his MBPD family and her customers to help keep his memory and positive character alive.

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