After 38 years of service to the City of Brookfield, Brookfield City Manager/Police Chief Dave Hane has retired to a life of hunting and fishing. He will also devote some time to a couple of lifelong passions: carpentry and photography. In a sense, Hane's professional life has now come full circle; his love of photography prompted an unexpected interest in law enforcement as a career, provided opportunities that wouldn't have been available otherwise, and will now fill the extra time retirement will provide.
Not unlike the steps Dave follows while developing film, his career has moved from something that wasn't clearly discernible at first, but clearly resolved into what it became in time.
He recalls, "When I was in college back in 1969 at what they then called Northeast Missouri State College, I was majoring in English education and aspired to teach. I had an interest in photography, so I began taking photography courses; one of those courses was law enforcement photography. That gave me my initial exposure to the field of law enforcement, and the more I learned about it, the more I wanted to know."
Dave's college roommates were political science majors who went into law enforcement and persuaded Dave to do the same. He had applied for jobs at both the Hannibal and Quincy, Illinois Police Departments, but when his grandfather informed him about an opening with the Brookfield Police Dept., Dave applied for that position as well.
The Brookfield P.D. was quickest to hire him and was particularly interested in taking advantage of Dave's photography skills. The retiring City Manager/Police Chief remembers: "When I was hired in 1975, the Brookfield P.D. only had a Polaroid camera, so I had to use my own 35 millimeter camera and equipment. Judge Walter Allen was also a photography enthusiast, and he offered to let me use his enlarger. Daily News-Bulletin Editor George Williams loaned me a key to the newspaper office so I had somewhere to develop film until the Police Dept. could acquire the necessary equipment. With the small budget the Department gave me, and revenue from a Law Enforcement Assistance Program grant application I wrote, I was able to convert a storeroom in the basement of City Hall into a dark room and outfitted it with what was then state-of-the-art photo developing equipment. As a result of my knowledge of photography, I had opportunities most rookie cops don't have; I had a role to play in virtually every criminal case the Department investigated. Those experiences led to my membership in the North Central Mo. Major Case Squad because, with the exception of Highway Patrol Headquarters in Macon, we had the only functional dark room in the nine-county area that the Major Case Squad covered,
Having such regular exposure to criminal case investigation techniques prepared Dave well for the 1989 serial murder cases in which Ray and Faye Copeland were the prime suspects.
Page 2 of 2 - In 1978 Hane had been promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and two years later he became the Assistant Chief of Police; he rose further through the ranks to Chief of Police in 1982 when he was appointed to that position by City Manager Nancy Olinger. By the time the North Central Mo. Major Case Squad was doing its part to solve the murders of itinerant farm laborers committed by the Copelands, Dave was the Major Case Squad's Operations Supervisor working along side of Investigative Supervisor Gary Calvert from the Livingston County Sheriff's Office.
"The two of us collaborated in determining the course of the investigation," recalls Dave. "We read every witness statement obtained by the two-man investigative teams working in the field, and then developed further leads for those teams to pursue." After being selected as one of only four Missourians sent to be trained at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA., Hane graduated just in time to take a lead role in the Copeland investigation. "I had the advantage of immediately being able to use the contacts that were being developed by the FBI in the Copeland case," explains Dave.
As if his accomplishments as a law enforcer weren't enough, Dave Hane still had one more major challenge to meet: reviving the financial health of the City of Brookfield.