- With his flattop crisply cut and wire-rimmed sunglasses, Mike Partin looked like a cop.
The Covington policeman's fall from the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge early Sunday ended what was a short, but promising career in law enforcement. Though his body had not been found as of Sunday evening, the Batavianative is presumed dead after trying to assist a Kenton County officer in an arrest.
''He always looked the part, and he always acted the part,'' said Covington Assistant Chief Lt. Col. Bill Dorsey. ''And for his desire to be a police officer and to make our community better, he gave his life.''
Officer Partin, 25 of Taylor Mill, leaves a widow, Lisa. They had been married less than a year.
Mayor Denny Bowman remembers swearing in Officer Partin on Sept. 9, 1996 in his office conference room - one of three men who joined the force that day.
Some officers talk a lot or joke when they're sworn in, the mayor said. But not Officer Partin. ''Mike was a real quiet person.'' Officer Partin impressed Latonia resident Florence Corman almost a year ago when he responded to a call that her car tires had been slashed .
''He handled the case very well,'' she said. ''He did what he could do. He was very nice. I'm sorry to hear that.''
Being new on the force, Officer Partin worked the overnight shift - typically when many of the worst crimes occur.
But Mayor Bowman and several other sources said Officer Partin was about to get better hours.
Even with a better schedule, a policeman's work is inherently dangerous.
As an officer's wife, Fran Vallandingham always carries the realization that her husband, Covington Detective Charles Vallandingham, could die in the line of duty.
''You just try to suppress it and pray,'' she said. ''. . . You just never know if he's going to come through that door.''
Mrs. Vallandingham and her husband socialized with Officer Partin and his wife.
''He was a very good family man and a very, very good policeman,'' she said. ''He'll be sorely missed.''
Jane Prendergast contributed to this report.
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