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The Chillicothe Voice

Chillicothe’s Hometown Hero: The Shield —Duty, Conviction, and Humility

Jan 29, 2024 02:20PM ● By Gary Sharp

Can any of us say, in today’s society, what we are missing? What are the most pertinent and needed ingredients in our sometimes mundane or often pampered lifestyles that we humans are slowly losing each day? Could it be the lack of a moral compass or moral clarity? Not realizing that early teachings of good and evil, right from wrong, and compassion or hatred are fading. The best way for one to rise is to first help others up. Tragically for some, moral clarity has no meaning at all and hence the need for the existence of the Thin Blue Line of first responders and protectors who are, so far, present, essential, and resolute. But we know that could all change. 

He was born in Kewanee Illinois, on July the 26, 1983 to Mary and Gary Hahn. He was raised in the Lutheran Faith with his brother Randy and three sisters—Susan and twins Kristin and Kelly. When at Kewanee High School, he played football, baseball, and was a stand-out wrestler and Conference Champion in the 215lb weight class as a sophomore in 1999. As a freshman, he knew he wanted to join a career in law enforcement and serve the people. Combined with his deep religious beliefs and inspired by his two grandfathers, Arthur and James, who served in WWII in Germany and the Pacific, he was moved with a desire to protect and serve. 

He graduated from Western Illinois University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration degree and a minor in Computer Science. He worked in the Kewanee Public Works Department and became familiar with city operations and infrastructure. While attending Western, he met at a dormitory gathering, a young lady named Jennifer Walker, who quickly stole his heart and as he says, after one week of dating I knew she was the one. On May 26, 2012, they were married. Jennifer also studied law at Western and DePaul University and is now an attorney who is starting her own firm. 

After college, Doug completed his Police Training Institute exams in Champaign, Illinois and from 2005 until 2007 worked security for Caterpillar and the Genesis Hospitals in the Quad Cities area. In October of 2008 he was hired by Chillicothe Police Chief Steve Maurer to perform the duties of patrolman, on the city’s force and has been now on said department for 15 years. 

Over those years of service, he has accomplished much. He secured two grants for officer body cameras, has put out many small fires—at times around town in the late hours with portable extinguishers—has secured arrest and seizure properties from drug trafficking operations, and also has been one of the top two officers to win the AAIM DUI Appreciation Award in his 15 years. 

He is a modest person and seeks no notoriety for special actions or events in his work that he considers as only routine and everyday police procedures. But there is one side of his career he is partial to, and that is working with Sergeant Nick Bridges in helping the youth of Chillicothe and special fundraising events. When Nick calls on him, he always volunteers for any worthwhile cause or actions that benefit our kids with positive results. When asked what he likes about Chillicothe, he repeats the same answer given by many Hometown Heroes before him; it’s the people, who are so giving of time, services, and donations to support all needy recipients in or around the river city. 

For the second son of Mary and Gary Hahn, it seems to be certain, that he learned early on what moral clarity really means and brought those beliefs with him to Chillicothe. Somewhere off in the vast regions of time and space, between memories, reality, and myth, sit two old war veterans of the Greatest Generation on a shaded park bench with big wide smiles on their faces and Arthur leans over and elbows James and says he has sure done us proud. 

There have been and always will be, Hometown Heroes in Chillicothe of different walks, occupations, and stature and now with a gift from our brother city to the northwest, who has enhanced the quality of an already fine police department, with a strong dedication to serve the city he now calls home, Sergeant Douglas James Hahn joins those ranks. Thank you Sergeant for your caliber of service. Back the Blue.