MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — One Philadelphia police officer — who also happens to be an artist — is honoring fallen law enforcement service members like PFC Jacob Hancher by creating portraits of them to give to the officer’s family and police department.
Jonny Castro tells News13 he it took him eight hours to create the portrait of fallen officer Jacob Hancher.
He says the part that stood out to him was Officer Hancher’s smile.
With a stroke of a digital paintbrush, Castro has created over 800 portraits of fallen service members.
“It’s important just to make sure that they’re not forgotten,” Castro said. “I mean, the artwork will live on, you know, forever.”
It all started in Philadelphia.
“We had an officer that was killed in the line of duty in Philadelphia,” Castro told News13. “His name was Sergeant Robert Wilson, so he was my first. I did him back in 2016 on the one year anniversary.”
Most recently, he unveiled his portrait of Myrtle Beach police officer Jacob Hancher, killed in the line of duty Oct. 3.
“From what I’ve been told, his smile was like the most important part,” Castro said. “Everybody seemed to know him for his smile. I mean, every picture I found of him, he had that same smile. That was important to make sure I captured.”
In years past, he’s honored other fallen officers across the country, along the Grand Strand and in the Pee Dee, like Terrance Carraway, Farrah Turner and Jackson Winkeler.
“I met their families at Police Week, spoken to their coworkers, so I know they all have the portraits displayed either in their house or at the departments,” Castro said.
Castro, who’s spent the last 14 years as a police officer, has spent the last four as the Philadelphia Police Department’s composite sketch artist, and makes paintings of the nation’s fallen officers for their families and departments.
“It’s definitely an honor on my part to be able to provide that artwork to them,” Castro said.
Castro is in contact with one of Officer Hancher’s Myrtle Beach Police Department co-workers who will help the family, and the department, get copies of the artwork.
He gives the artwork for free to families and the departments.