Police Specialist William Gerald “Jerry” Bitner
Jerry was born on December 9, 1941 in Lincoln, Kentucky to Orville Lee and Esta “Jewell” (Adams) Bitner. He attended Deer Park High School, graduating in June 1959, and the University of Cincinnati Evening College until 1966.
Jerry joined the United States Marine Corps on February 1, 1961. He served in the Infantry. He was honorably discharged on February 6, 1962.
He returned home and joined the Technical Center, Inc. as a draftsman. He took a similar position with Cincinnati Milling Machine during June 1965. He then took a position as a designer at McGraw Construction Company until October 1966.
During August 1966, Jerry joined the Forest Park Police Department as a Patrolman.
During 1966, Jerry competed with 95 other men for a position on the Cincinnati Police Division. Having finished second, he was appointed a Police Recruit on March 12, 1967 as a Police Recruit. On June 4th, he was promoted to Patrolman, issued Badge 283, and assigned to District 1 (310 Lincoln Park Drive). On December 22, 1968, he was rotated to District 4 (7017 Vine Street). He was promoted to Police Specialist on December 3, 1972 and assigned to District 5 (1012 Ludlow Avenue). During June 1974, he and his partner foiled a robbery at Lowe’s Distributors and captured Melvin J. Austin, one of the city’s “Twenty Most Wanted” fugitives. During 1977, he transferred to District 2 (3295 Erie Avenue). He was also highly thought of as a leather worker, especially in making pouches, badge cases, and holsters.
Specialist Bitner, having been promoted once and already received 25 letters of appreciation and/or commendation resigned on March 29, 1981 to go back into employment in construction. By 2005, he had been named Senior Project Engineer at ACI Construction Services in Tampa, Florida.
Specialist Bitner died on March 23, 2019. He was 77.
He was predeceased by his brothers, Police Officer Gary A. Bitner (2012) and James Lee Bitner. He is survived by his wife, Christine Mary (Airhart) Bitner; former wife, Judy (Bartesko) Bitner; children, Keith William (Julie) Bitner and Vicki Lee Bitner; grandchildren, Stacey (TC) Shafor and Brent (Kristy) Shafor; great-grandchildren, Anastasia Tinker, Vincent Tinker, and William Shafor; and siblings, Ronald Bitner and Betty Lynn Feller.
© 2019 – All right reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum