Services for a former longtime officer and chief of the Wilmington Police Department will be held Tuesday.
Michael Hatten, 66, died Saturday, Aug. 17 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia.
He was a resident of Otway, Ohio in Scioto County, about midway between Peebles and Portsmouth.
A former Midland resident and a 1971 graduate of Blanchester High School, Hatten served 38 years with the Wilmington Police Department, from which he retired as chief of police in 2012.
Pat Haley, former Clinton County sheriff, told the News Journal, “Brenda and I were greatly saddened to learn of the untimely death of Mike Hatten. Mike and Brenda went to high school together in Blanchester, and he and I worked closely together in law enforcement for many years.
“I remember Mike as an officer who put his own well-being at risk to ensure the safety of our community, and being wounded in the line of duty apprehending a criminal suspect. Mike was a dedicated officer and a good friend to many. Our prayers are with Mike’s family and friends.”
Former Wilmington Mayor David Raizk was the city’s director of public safety when Hatten was appointed Wilmington police chief, and later Raizk served as mayor while Hatten was the police chief.
Raizk described Hatten as “very smart” and said Hatten earned the top score in civil service testing for the chief position.
“He was always very bright, very innovative and creative, and did a lot of research, updating police as times were changing in law enforcement with new techniques,” Raizk said Thursday.
“I am sorry to hear of his loss for him and his family,” added Raizk.
Clinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer Jr. said, “He was a darn good cop and he loved his job. A once he became chief, we were in a lot of meetings together.
“He was a lot of fun to be around. He will be missed.”
Former WPD Chief Duane Weyand, Chief Probation Officer-Director of the Clinton County Common Pleas Court Supervision Staff, said, “I served for him as an officer, detective, sergeant, and assistant chief of police for a total of 16 years. He was a great guy and cared about this community.”
“Mike was police chief during the time I was safety director while Nick Eveland was mayor,” said Larry Chamberlain from his Florida home. “Mike was easy going. He was a good police chief. He also had a great sense of humor. We remodeled the city police-dispatch center and brought it up with the new technology before pagers and cell phones. We worked out of the old city building which was a remodeled fire house.”
Wilmington resident Jim Gumley, a former neighbor of Hatten, said, “Mike was an excellent neighbor and loyal friend both personally and professionally. May he rest in God’s eternal life and peace.”
Hatten is survived by his wife of nearly five years, Shirley (Patrick) Hatten; two sons and one daughter; 12 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Visitation will be at noon until funeral services at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27 at Beech Fork Church in Otway. Burial will follow in Wamsley Cemetery in Blue Creek, Ohio. Arrangements are being handled by Botkin Hornback Funeral Home in Otway.