Simon Fluckiger, Hamilton’s former top cop, dies at 74

Hamilton Police Chief was hired by the late chief, saying, ‘I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me.’

Simon A. Fluckiger, Jr. was a very unassuming Hamilton police chief, which Butler County’s sheriff said is kinda rare.

“He was a quiet guy, and in a room full of chiefs, he wouldn’t say a word,” said county Sheriff Richard Jones. “He was a hell of a chief. He was a real smart guy.”

Fluckiger served as Hamilton’s police chief from 1993 to 1998, and had served the police department for nearly 30 years. He died on Friday, July 22, 2022, with his family by his side. He was 74 years old.

Jones said the Hamilton police former chief was very cerebral, and “would study you and listen to you more” than he would talk.

Fluckiger was born on Oct. 24, 1947, in Flat Lick, Ky., the oldest community in the commonwealth’s Knox County.

He grew up spending summers on his grandmother’s farm in Kentucky, and from an early age, Fluckiger helped on the farm and his parent’s restaurant.

He served his community of Hamilton as a police officer for nearly three decades. He joined the Hamilton Police Department on Nov. 1, 1969, and served until his retirement on June 6, 1998. He was also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in 1987.

Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit was hired by Fluckiger, and “I think he knew how much I wanted to be here, so he took a chance. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me.”

Bucheit’s eligibility on the police candidate list was getting ready to expire, and recalls calling Fluckiger’s office “every other day checking for updates. I remember him always being very patient and professional.”

“Now, I realize just how important hiring decisions are, and I’m certain he just wanted to take his time and make sure he got it right,” Bucheit said.

Fluckiger’s fingerprints are all over the police department, having hired a large majority of the department’s current supervisors.

“They’re an outstanding group of leaders. In their success, he left his mark on Hamilton Police Department and provided key leadership for our future,” Bucheit said.

Hamilton Public Safety Director Scott Scrimizzi was a patrol officer when Fluckiger was his lieutenant on the force. Just like the sheriff said, Scrimizzi said, “When I think of him, I think of a quiet, reserved person.”

“He led by example,” he said. “I don’t think I ever heard him raise his voice.”

Jones said Fluckiger “was very good at his job, and I would seek advice from him.”

But Fluckiger’s “greatest joy,” according to his family, was his family.

“Simon loved being a father and grandfather, and was always the one behind the camera on Christmas and holidays,” the family wrote in his obituary. “He wanted to remember every moment.”

Fluckiger was married to his wife, Kathy, for 41 years. He is survived by his wife, daughters Leslie Kurtz, Tonya Miller, Katrina Morgan, and Megan Fluckiger; son Brendan Fluckiger; sister Nancy Smith; and eight grandchildren; as well as his closest friend and former police partner Pat Erb.

Before he passed away, Fluckiger was able to hold his 2-week-old grandson.

Fluckiger’s family recently moved, so in lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to a charitable organization of the donor’s choice.

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