From Cleats to Courage: A Powerful Journey into Law Enforcement
Orange County native, Eric Hatch was born on Independence Day, a mere foreshadowing of a life that would be dedicated to service. Staying true to his roots, Eric enrolled at Santa Ana College, carving his path as a running back on the football team under the mentorship of Coach Dave Ogas. This experience would later shape his unwavering determination and resilience, qualities that defined his career.
In 1989 Eric graduated from the Orange County Sheriff's Academy, equipped with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. He began what would become an incredible 32-year tenure in law enforcement. Eric's contributions are far-reaching, encompassing a diverse array of roles including corrections, patrol, investigations, and the coveted SWAT unit.
In 2005, Eric's career took another leap forward when he joined the Regional Narcotics Suppression Program. His tireless efforts and unwavering commitment dismantled major drug trafficking and money laundering operations, earning him an official commendation.
The pinnacle of Eric's career came with his transfer to the homicide division in 2009. Over 12 years, he investigated over a hundred homicides and more than twenty-five officer-involved shootings. His specialized training and tenacity were instrumental in solving high-profile cases that gripped the nation.
Eric's accolades continued to pour in, from his heroic efforts during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots to his contributions to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Special Olympics. His investigative prowess even garnered him the prestigious Helene and Joseph Sherwood Prize from the Anti-Defamation League for his role in the Blaze Bernstein murder investigation.
In 2021, Eric embarked on a new chapter, joining the Rancho Santiago Community College District as a Senior District Safety Officer. His legacy of excellence followed him, as he applied his extensive law enforcement knowledge to create a safer, more enriching college experience for students.
Beyond the uniform, Eric is a devoted family man, sharing a life filled with love and adventure alongside his wife Stephanie, and their 14-year-old son, Fisher. Together, they find solace in camping trips, fishing excursions, and cheering on Fisher at baseball and football games.
With a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, Eric Hatch is more than a first responder; he is a pillar of his community, a beacon of hope, and a testament to the power of resilience and dedication. His story serves as an inspiration to all who have the privilege of knowing him.