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Ernie W. Hinkle, Jr.

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Lieutenant Ernie W. Hinkle, Jr., Austin Police Department (ret.) was "born and raised in a small rural town in Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky in 1932, Ernie left home at the age of 17 and spent the next eight years in the United States Air Force. He made his permanent home in Texas via the USAF and had the opportunity to be stationed at Lackland AFB in San Antonio,Texas, Bergstrom AFB in Austin, Texas, as well as Japan, England, Midway, Wake Island, and Guam.


Being stationed at Bergstrom AFB in Austin led him to seek employment with the Austin Police Department and he was commissioned on January 20, 1961 where he became one of the most decorated street cops on the force being revered by all who knew him. Ernie went to college while working with APD and received his Bachelor of Science degree from the American Technological University on August 17, 1974.

During his tenure with APD he was the recipient of well over 200 commendations and awards including four Meritorious Conduct Bars, six Police Commendation Bars, Three Life Saving Bars, Four Certificates of Merit Bars, and one for Valor. He received numerous certificates and awards over his 35 years with APD from various city, county, and law enforcement agencies and clubs. In 1993 Ernie Hinkle was one of 18 law enforcement officers to receive the State of Texas Law Enforcement Professional Achievement Award presented by Governor Ann Richards.


He was considered to be a model peacemaker in community affairs as well as policing affairs and was instrumental in establishing many successful programs to enhance both the APD and the City of Austin. In 1994 the "Ernie Hinkle Humanitarian Award" was founded. Since that time, each cadet class nominates a fellow officer to receive this award to honor them as their class humanitarian and the award is presented to them at graduation just before they are commissioned.


A compilation of short stories by Police Lieutenant Ernie Hinkle, who retired from the City of Austin November 1995 as one of the most decorated officers of his time with 35 years of service. The streets were where the people were and where he felt he could make the most difference and impact upon their lives."  Lieutenant Ernie Hinkle is the author of LT: A Street Cop's Stories.


According to the book description of LT: A Street Cop's Stories, the book is compiled of 141 short stories of historical, serious, and comical events and most people just cant put it down once they start reading it.  The Tower Shooting, both from factual data and his perspective as he lived through it, is one of the stories included in the book.  Ernie was a true street cop, was the most decorated officer of his time, and holds way over 200 awards, commendations, and merits."

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