Sergeant Louis Michael “Mike” Hopper S-24 (1947-2023)

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 Mike was born December 16, 1947 to Louis James and Martha (Lloyd) Hopper. He attended Mariemont High School and graduated in 1966. 

Mike joined the United States Army on December 29, 1967 and served in Air Defense Artillery. After basic training, he was sent to Army Air Defense School. He then attended Army Electronics School in El Paso, Texas in 1968. He shipped out to Landau, Germany and served as a radar technician, driver, and company clerk. Sergeant Hopper was honorably discharged on September 30, 1970 with National Defense and Good Conduct Medals.

He then attended the University of Cincinnati until 1973, majoring in Business Administration and Accounting.

While going to school, from December 1972 to March 1973, Mike drove a Yellow Cab. Simultaneously, he worked as a bartender at She Night Club. Beginning September 1973, he worked as a machine operator at Magnets, Inc. 

Mike joined the City of Cincinnati as a Corrections Officer in November 1973. He transferred to the Cincinnati Police Department on September 22, 1974 as a Police Recruit. On February 2, 1975, he was promoted to Police Officer, issued Badge 576, and assigned to District 6 (3295 Erie Avenue). A year later, he was rotated to District 3 (3201 Warsaw Avenue). Due to budget issues at City Hall, Officer Hopper and 123 other officers were laid off on December 6, 1976. About January 1977, he went to work as a Harrison Police Officer. He was recalled to Cincinnati on February 26, 1978 and reassigned to District 3.  On June 12, 1978 Officer Hopper transferred to the Traffic Section (314 Broadway). He was promoted to Sergeant 2¼ years later, issued Badge S-24, and assigned to District 5 (1012 Ludlow Avenue). A year later, he was rotated to District 1 (310 Ezzard Charles Drive). On February 26, 1989, he transferred to Inspection Section. After 2¼ years, he transferred to Internal Investigation Section. Three years later, he transferred to Intelligence Section. On January 11, 1998, he returned to District 1, then to the Event Planning Unit. Up to his last days in the Division, his commanders commented on his work ethic, loyalty, and experience. Sergeant Hopper retired on January 8, 2000 with 29 years of service to his country and community and 34 letters of appreciation and/or commendation, including four from the Chief’s Office and one from the Hamilton County Sheriff.

He then went to the Hamilton County Probation Department to help former Cincinnati Police Chief Michael Snowden reorganize it. He worked there several years.

Before and after his retirement, Sergeant Hopper was consistently involved a weekly, seasonal 9-1-1 Golf League and for many years he ran the league. Sergeant Hopper was a four-wheeler enthusiast and long-time member of the Ohio, Kentucky Four-Wheel-Drive Club (IOK). He served as its president in the early 1990s and was its long-time spokesman and coordinator for their famous Gravelrama.

Sergeant Hopper was also an avid motorcyclist and a member of the Warthogs Motorcycle Club. He attended “Bike Week” in Daytona, Florida and on March 7, 2023, was stopped at a light when a serial drunk driver, Lisa Rose Lange, crashed into Sergeant Hopper at approximately 45 miles per hour. He was air-lifted to Halifax Hospital and admitted to the ICU. He showed steady improvement and it seemed he was nearing a time when he could fly home to recuperate, but on March 16th, he developed an abdominal problem and succumbed on March 17, 2023 at the age of 75.

Sergeant Hopper is survived by his children, Christopher Michael (Dawn) Hopper, Carrie Marie (Kevin) Campbell, and Catrina Ruth (late Vince) Tolley; grandchildren, Steven (Samantha) Wiechert  Chloe Hopper, Alison Hopper, Nathan Hopper, Brittani Campbell, and Caden Campbell; great grandchildren, Brooklyn Wiechert and Mackenzie Wiechert; siblings, Richard Ernest Hopper and Cindy (Hopper) Kusel; and Significant Other (Partner) for over 20 years, Debbie Casey.

Memorials may be made in the memory of Louis Michael Hopper to the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society, 308 Reading Road, Suite 201, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

EPILOGUE

πLisa Rose Lange (62) has a decades-long history of driving and crashes while under the influence of alcoholic beverages. After crashing into Sergeant Hopper, she was charged with Felony Driving Under the Influence; Driving Under the Influence, Cause Serious Bodily Injury to Another; and Prior Refusal to Submit to Testing. At her preliminary hearing on March 14th, she pleaded Not Guilty and a bond of $11,000 was set.

On March 21, 2023, four days after Sergeant Hopper’s death, she was additionally charged with Driving Under the Influence, Cause Death to a Human. 

A hearing for pre-trial detention was held on March 30, 2023. Another hearing was held on April 4th. Another pretrial hearing was set for April 19th. Then, another was set for May 15, 2023. Still another was for July 19th, for which the judge’s sheet shows only that the defendant appeared. On August 10th, a “Management Conference” was set for August 29th. 

On August 23rd, she wrote a letter to the judge expressing all the reasons for her returning to alcoholism and how bad an effect the “accident” had on her and her family. On September 2, 2023, she wrote another letter to the judge expressing how nice she has it in jail, that she was now living in a dormitory and going to work four times a week in a laundry as a Trustee and is in constant Zoom contact with her friends and family.

On September 5th, a notice was filed for October 12th for a change of plea and sentencing. On August 12, 2023, she entered a “Conditional Plea,” the conditions being that for Count 1 (Felony DUI) she would receive three years in prison and, consecutive to Count 1, for Count 2 (killing Sergeant Hopper), 12 years in prison (with a minimum of 4 years served); followed by three years on probation and a “safety and substance abuse course with psychological evaluation. If she serves the full first three years, she will be eligible for parole in 2030, at the age of 69. 

All the evidence suggests that when she is released she will drive drunk again and potentially kill more good people. 

© 2023 – All rights are reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum

 

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