Dan was born April 8, 1959 to Gordon and Lola Stone. He attended Glen Este High School where he participated on the track team and graduated in 1977. While attending high school and working at a United Dairy Farmer store, he closed one night was accosted by members of an outlaw motorcycle gang. There was no purpose to it, but the incident would affect his career paths.
Two months after high school, Dan joined the United States Army and was assigned as a motor pool mechanic at Fort Hood and eventually promoted to Acting E-5 Motor Sergeant. Sergeant Nickum was honorably discharged August 22, 1980 with an Army Commendation Medal and Good Conduct Metal.
Less than a year later, Dan joined the Cincinnati Police Division on July 5, 1981 as a Police Recruit. He was promoted December 6, 1981 to Police Officer, issued Badge 373, and assigned to District 1 (310 Lincoln Park Drive). Little more than a year later, due to budgetary issues at City Hall, Officer Nickum was laid off. City Council changed its collective mind a week later and recalled him and others. Three weeks later he was rotated to District 2 (3295 Erie Avenue). On May 13, 1984 he was laid off again and recalled to District 5 (1012 Ludlow Avenue) 8 months later. But he never lost his dedication to the job.
On October 27, 1985, he transferred back to District 2 where he built a reputation as a bane to the outlaw motorcycle gang that took up residence on Eastern Avenue. He was involved in search warrants served on their clubhouse in 1982 and then again in 1988 and became an expert at spotting stolen motorcycles and stolen motorcycle parts. On April 1, 1990, Officer Nickum transferred to Operation Street Corner as an undercover officer. On July 7, 1991, the Division took a chance on a German Shepherd once shot with buckshot and rescued from the Butler County animal shelter. Officer Nickum transferred to the Canine Unit, worked with Luke II, and the two became top-notch K9 and Handler and are featured in the 2007 book, Badge of My Collar. He was promoted to Police Specialist on September 28, 1997 and issued Badge PS-102.
Little more than three months later, on January 11, 1998, he was promoted to Sergeant, issued Badge S-103, and assigned to District 4 (4150 Reading Road). On August 5, 2001, Sergeant Nickum was transferred back to the Street Corner Unit. On April 28, 2003, he was driving through a lot in Clifton when he came upon four armed men robbing another, arrested one, and he and other officers tracked down and arrested the other three. On March 17, 2005, he was off duty when he saw a man running from a 5th/3rd Bank with cash in his hand and pursued the man until the robber was captured by on-duty police. Sergeant Nickum transferred back to District 5 during August 2012 and seven months later into the District 5 Violent Crimes Squad. Sergeant Nickum retired January 3, 2015 with 37½ years of service to our country and community.
Sergeant Nickum contracted cancer. He died during the morning of September 29, 2022 at the age of 63.
He was predeceased by his wife of 37 years, Cynthia Sue “Cindy” (Lancaster) Nickum; mother, Lola Stone; and brother, James Stone. Sergeant Nickum is survived by his father, Gordon Stone; children, Jana Nicole Nickum, Benjamin Mark (Tara) Nickum, and Tiffany (Josh) Shiffer; stepchildren, Richard (Amy) Branson and Carolyn (Roman) Balcar; ten grandchildren; parents-in-law, Dr. Richard Kirby and Joan Lancaster; and siblings, Ricky Nickum, Jenney Crain, Jeff Stone, Janell Turner, Jerald Stone.
Visitation will be held 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at the First Baptist Church of Milford at 1376 Woodville Pike. A funeral service will be held at noon.
Memorials may be made to the Kentucky Mountain Mission, P.O. Box 588, Beattyville, OH 41311-0588.
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