‘Left a lasting impression’: Myrtle Beach mayor recounts one year after death of Pfc. Jacob Hancher

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Sunday marks one year since Myrtle Beach police officer Jacob Hancher lost his life in the line of duty.

The 23-year-old had first served the city as a community service officer, along with volunteering as a firefighter for Horry County.

It was his dream to become a police officer, a goal he only got to fulfill for less than a year.

His life was cut short after responding to a domestic dispute, which ended in a fatal shootout.

SPECIAL SECTION | Remembering Myrtle Beach police officer Jacob Hancher

One year later, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said what hurts most is knowing that that night will be carried by his family and teammates forever.

“I can’t believe it’s already been a year, and the feelings I have are for his family, and not just Jacob’s blood family - his police family,” she said. “That was such a traumatic night. And those memories are going to impact their lives forever, and I can’t make that go away; no one can make that go away for them.”

Bethune said she didn’t realize how much his death would personally impact her to this day, but she was unsurprised by how the community wrapped their arms around each other after that traumatic night.

She said his teammates and the city have been hurting since losing Hancher and there isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t think about him.

Bethune said she believes Hancher embodied what a police officer should be, and she hopes the community will continue to value the commitment to service that his team strives for as well.

“For the selfless service that he gave to this community, he will forever be dearly loved and appreciated,” she said. “He will always be in my heart.”

Bethune said the passion for his job came easy to him, and Hancher will always be known for his instinct to serve and protect, as seen so evidently on the night of his death.

“Jacob is the epitome of what the Myrtle Beach Police Department stands for, and I think that he has left a lasting impression on his team here, on the type of person to strive to be, and what it means to serve our community,” she said.

WMBF News also sat down with Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock, along with two of Hancher’s fellow officers to understand the impression he made on his team, and how they’ve been living out his memory in their service.

You can watch Sunday, October 3, on WMBF News at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

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