Ken was born July 21, 1937 to Howard R. and Henrietta Hergert. He attended Withrow and Woodward High Schools, graduating in June 1955.
Ken worked as a store clerk at Kroger’s on Montgomery Road from July 1953 to October 1955.
He joined the United States Air Force on October 3, 1955. After three months of basic training, Airman 3rd Class Hergert was assigned to petroleum supply. He was stateside for 33 months and promoted to Airman 2nd Class. He was promoted again and served twelve months overseas. Airman 1st Class Hergert was honorably discharged on October 2, 1959 with a Good Conduct Medal. He then enlisted in the United States Air Force Reserves.
Upon returning home, Ken became a commercial apprentice at Cincinnati Milling Machine until May 1960.
Ken joined the Cincinnati Police Division on May 29, 1960 as a Police Recruit. He was promoted to Patrolman on September 11, 1960, issued Badge 288, and assigned to District 3 (3201 Warsaw Avenue). On January 21, 1962, Patrolman Hergert was rotated to District 1 (310 Lincoln Park Drive). He was promoted to Police Specialist on April 16, 1968, issued Badge PS-163, and assigned to the Tactical Unit. Two years later, Specialist Hergert transferred back to District 1. Two months later, he transferred to the Tactical Patrol Section as a Canine Handler. During September 1972, his canine partner, Baron, took first place in Obedience in a national competition sponsored by the U.S. K-9 Association. On January 8, 1973, Specialist Hergert and Baron transferred to District 4 (7017 Vine Street). Five years later, after retiring his dog, he transferred to District 2 (3295 Erie Avenue). The next year 1980, he transferred to the Intelligence Section. He returned to District 2 in 1981 and served as the district’s investigative unit collator. Specialist Hergert retired February 4, 1989 with 35 years of service to his country and community and 24 letters of appreciation and/or commendation; five from the police chief’s office, and one each from Congressman Clancy, Cleves Police Chief Reninger, Sheriff Paul Fricker, and City Manager William Donaldson.
During 2006, when the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum opened, three officers, Hergert, Jerry Cantwell, and Charlie Greenert, were among the first volunteers. They worked every Thursday morning and were affectionately known as the Three Stooges. Specialist Hergert is responsible for the history of Cincinnati’s modern police canine program at the Museum. Early in 2022, Specialist Hergert’s health prevented him from coming in on some Thursdays, then later he was unable to attend at all.
Early in January 2023 he was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center with what was diagnosed as Spinal Meningitis. He was in the ICU when he died at 5:50 p.m. on Monday, January 9, 2023 at Age 85.
He was predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Beverly Ann (Walker) Hergert (December 2020), and son, David Lee Hergert (2007). Specialist Hergert is survived by his children, Kenneth A. (Maria McCarthy) Hergert and Steven Howard (Lisa) Hergert; grandchildren, Justine (Rick), Conner, Branden, Ashley, Brittnay, and Paul; and siblings, Shirley (Joe) Weismueller and Glenn Hergert.
Visitation will be held 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, January 16, 2023 at the T. P. White and Sons Funeral Home at 2050 Beechmont Avenue. An FOP service will be held at 7:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2030 at Saint Veronica Church at 4473 Mount Carmel Tabasco Road. Burial will follow at the Pierce Township Cemetery at 950 Locust Corner Road.
Memorials may be made to the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum, 308 Reading Road, Suite 201, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
© 2023 – All rights are reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum