ILLINOIS (WCIA) — While strangers were lining the streets in a show of support for Trooper Todd Hanneken, those who knew him are doing it in their own way.
WCIA talked to several people who are mourning the loss. People in Macon County are remembering a trooper, and a man who was well-loved in the community.
“He was just a good guy,” says Perry Snearly. “That’s just the way he was. That’s the way the whole family is.”
Hanneken was in Bondville when he got into a car crash Thursday and died.
The Macon County Sheriff says he knew the trooper for over 20 years.
“When we found out it was him, I’ll be honest — I dropped some tears behind that… just a good person,” Sheriff Tony Brown says.
Hanneken was assigned to District 10 with the Illinois State Police and was a 20-year veteran of the force. Neighbors say he was from Longcreek and was always ready to serve.
“Anytime you lose someone in your community, not just because he was a state trooper. It’s just a big loss because like I said, we’re all just a close-knit group and I was just devastated when I heard it,” says Snearly.
“Anytime you would run into Todd, it didn’t matter how long you hadn’t seen each other, he always had a smile to give and a kind word for you,” says Jamie Aubert. “He was just a genuine person, never had a bad thing to say about anybody.”
His classmate put out a sign to remember him by.
“To honor and respect such a wonderful officer and person in general,” says Aubert. We need more people like him in the world.”
Now after years of service and giving to others, Trooper Hanneken can finally rest.
“He served his community well,” says Sheriff Brown. “He served the state well, so he’s coming home, not for our own selfish reasons. We don’t want to see him come home like this, but that being said he’s still coming home.”
The Macon County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook, “Trooper Hanneken will certainly be missed. Our deepest condolences go out to his family at home and at the Illinois State Police.”