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Hanover, PA

The Penn Township Police Department released a statement about retired officer John Ernst earlier today.

The Penn Township Police Department regrets to announce the death of retired nfficer John “Jack” Ernst. Officer Ernst began his career with Penn Township in 1976 and retired after 25 years of faithful service to the residents and visitors of Penn Township. He served as the Department firearms and use of force instructor for many years. Officer Ernst continued to serve Penn Township after his retirement as a valued member of the Penn Township Civil Service Commission. His friendship, leadership, wisdom and sense of humor will be greatly missed.

We express our most sincere condolences to Officer Ernst’s family.

According to an obituary Offficer Ernst was born November 3, 1943 in Hanover, he was a loving son of John A. and Mary L. Essick Ernst. A 1962 graduate of Delone Catholic High School, he was a veteran of the US Army, having proudly served during the Vietnam War. During his first week of Boot Camp training, while stationed at Fort Gordon, GA, he was appointed acting platoon Sergeant of B Company. On completion of his training, he received the “Outstanding Soldier” award and was recommended for Officer’s Training School.

Officer Ernst attended the Pennsylvania State Police Academy Municipal Officers Course and served the Hanover community as a law enforcement officer for 30 some years mostly with Penn Township. In addition to his patrol duties, he was the department’s quartermaster and tactical firearms instructor. Upon retirement, he was awarded the Medal of Valor the highest such award that can be bestowed in law enforcement. He was a member and past chairman of the Penn Township Civil Service Commission, a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge # 73 of York County, Penn Township Patrolmen’s Association, Green Springs Rod and Gun Club, McSherrystown Fish and Game and the McSherrystown Home Association, and a life member of the Knights of Columbus in Hanover and McSherrystown.

Surviving, in addition to his beloved wife of 51 years, are his four children, Shannon Michelle Koontz and her husband, Timothy, of Littlestown, Joseph Matthew Ernst and his wife, Deborah, Mark Andrew Ernst and Jacki Anne Ernst, all of Hanover; nine grandchildren, Tyler Koontz, Matthew Koontz and his wife, Janelle, Ashlyn Ernst, Laci Ernst, Michael Felton, Brady Ernst, Gracie Ernst, Maeson Felton and John Ernst; two step grandchildren, Maverick Bair and Tanner Stambaugh; two great-grandchildren, Maddilyn and M.J. Manning; two brothers, James B. Ernst and his wife, Jean, and Daniel P. Ernst and his wife, Gloria; and a sister, Julie Zeigler and her husband, Thomas, all of Hanover. He was preceded in death by a brother, Robert L. Erns