Familiar Face Newest Chadron Police Officer


     The newest member of the Chadron Police Department is believed to be the first to have also worked in Chadron for the Dawes County Sheriff’s Office and the Nebraska State Patrol.

     Mick Downing took his oath of office as a member of the police department at Monday night’s Chadron City Council meeting.

      Downing retired from the State Patrol last month after 25 years with the agency, most recently as the Northern Panhandle sergeant, but he’s been in the Chadron area for 35 years, ever since coming to town as a student at Chadron State College.

     After graduating in 1993, he worked for a year as a truck driver for a local beer distributor, then began his law enforcement career with the Dawes County Sheriff’s Office – where he stayed for 3-½ years before joining the State Patrol.

      After completing the Patrol’s academy, his first duty station was Rushville – which frequently saw him working in and near Chadron, which became his new duty station in 2009.

     Downing told the council members that he was planning to leave law enforcement for good after he retired from the State Patrol, but that Chadron Police Chief Rick Hickstein was very persistent in recruiting him.

      Both men said they’re very happy with the arrangement they reached. Downing is scheduled only part-time and on the day shift, giving Hickstein an experienced veteran officer at a busy time while sharply reducing Downing’s workload and stress from what it was as a road trooper and area supervisor.