Community mourns for Police Chief David Hewitt

The City of Rising Sun and all Southeastern Indiana communities have been mourning the death of Rising Sun Police Chief David Hewitt. The 27 year enforcement professional died in a car crash in Switzerland County on Wednesday, Feb. 13th.

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The City of Rising Sun and all Southeastern Indiana communities have been mourning the death of Rising Sun Police Chief David Hewitt.   The 27 year enforcement  professional died in a car crash in Switzerland County on Wednesday, Feb. 13th.   On Friday, Feb. 15th, Hewitt’s return to Rising Sun was by escort from Louisville by Kentucky and Indiana State Police, Switzerland and Ohio County Sheriff’s Departments and City of Rising Sun and Vevay Police Departments    City workers, fire and life squad stopped traffic at intersections as the  route wound into town from the south on IN 56 to Plum Street then up to Mulberry Street where students of the Ohio County Elementary Middle School stood quietly in respect. The route continued to First Street and onto Rising Sun High School. From Henrietta Street to Main Street then past the Ohio County Courthouse down to Main and High Street where dozens of people filled the street corner as he went on to Markland Funeral Home.   Officers from area departments took shifts standing guard 24 hours a day at Markland Funeral Home until the funeral.  Arrival was expected at 11 a.m. but was delayed until arrival shortly before noon.  The procession was followed by air by Cincinnati Channel 9 WCPO along with video by relatives on Facebook.   Once again Rising Sun has been put in the spotlight of big news outlets that focus on the pride of small town America.   Hewitt was seen days before his fatal crash at a structure fire on Short Street.   Although there are many times of frustration when working for the public, David Hewitt said, “The one thing this community is good for is the way everyone comes together to support people (in time of need).”   Little did he know that it would be his family.   Hewitt’s funeral services were announced on Sunday. Visitation was Tuesday from 2 to 7 p.m. at the high school. The funeral was held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the high school, one week after his fatal crash. Students were released at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday and school was closed on Wednesday for the funeral.   Hewitt was seen days before his fatal crash at a structure fire on Short Street.   Although there are many times of frustration when working for the public, David Hewitt said, “The one thing this community is good for is the way everyone comes together to support people (in time of need).”   Little did he know that it would be his family.   Born and raised in Ohio County and lived in Switzerland County.   The two communities held moments of silence prior to the Rising Sun High School game on Friday and again on Saturday at Switzerland County High School with Blue and White Night.    A member of Rising Sun Police Department since 1998, Hewitt had been an officer with the Switzerland County and Dearborn County Sheriff’s offices, as well as Lawrenceburg Police Department previously, for a total of 27 years in law enforcement.An avid outdoorsman, Hewitt was appointed Rising Sun police chief in 2004.   Rising Sun Mayor Brent Bascom has ordered city residents to keep their flags at half mast for the next 27 days to honor the fallen chief and his years of service.    Chief Hewitt served southeastern Indiana for 27 years as a police officer for the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department, the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department, the Lawrenceburg Police Department and the Rising Sun Police Department.  He became employed by the Rising Sun Police Department in 1998 and was named Chief Of Police in 2004.    Mayor Bascom ordered all flags in the City of Rising Sun be lowered to half-staff and remain at half-staff for 27 days, one day for each year of service Chief Hewitt gave to the citizens of our area.  Bascom extended the following condolences to Chief Hewitt’s family.   Police Chief David Hewitt was a remarkable public servant. He was many things and being an incredible example of how our City strives to represent itself is just one of them. I could list probably fifty adjectives and would feel like I would barely scratch the surface of the type of person he was. Job related, he was a strong leader with great communication skills. For our community, those are two incredible traits to have. He believed in addressing concerns face to face. He believed in mediating differences and his strengths demonstrated that.   I’ve thought a lot about David over the last six months and how he helped me professionally. I did this more as an internal reflection of my experiences since 2016 and how people have shaped my life. So I’m the fourth Mayor that he’s been the Chief for. It’s natural to worry how that could have impacted his role individually as well as his department. But he didn’t do that, not for one second. What I will always be thankful for is the opportunity he gave me. He gave me an opportunity to build trust with him and vice versa. He also gave me the opportunity to learn from him about the role of peace officers in our community. He would help in any way possible but he would also push back when he felt the situation warranted. He wouldn’t do so in a defiant way; he’d push you to understand other perspectives. He was so articulate and patient with a new Mayor and I will always be grateful for that.   This past week has been devastating for our entire community. We lost an important piece of our little City way too early. David was a high impact individual. When I say that, I mean whether he intended to or not, he was going to positively impact your life. For my Chief of Police, I just want to say thank you….   Thank you for taking the opportunity at RSPD in ‘98.   Thank you for being the type of Police Chief our community deserved.   Thank you for being an exemplary display of public service.    Thank you for being a strong and trustworthy leader.   Thank you for being kind and considerate person.   Thank you for being a confidant at any hour of the night.   Thank you for loyal advocate for our City.   Thank you being a mentor and friend.    Thank you making our community better.   Thank you for……well being you.