The City of Falls Church confirmed that Steve Bittle died Thursday night, just months after he retired from over 50 years of service as the City’s sheriff and on its police force.
Bittle retired in August. A flag-lowering ceremony was held for him outside of City Hall on Monday, with the sherriff’s department in their formal dress.
Below are statements honoring his life and work from Mayor David Tarter, City Manager Wyatt Shields and Sheriff Met Cay.
Mayor David Tarter
“Sheriff Steve Bittle’s 54 years of service to the City of Falls Church is unapparelled – he is officially the longest serving City employee in our City’s history! But more importantly, he will always be remembered for his unwavering dedication to law enforcement and for making the City a special place to live and work. Our thoughts go out to his family, and to all of those in the Little City law enforcement community.”
City Manager Wyatt Shields
“Sheriff Bittle was a colleague, friend, and neighbor and he will be sorely missed. My condolences to his wife Kathleen and his family. I join with Sheriff Cay and all in the big Falls Church family who worked with Steve during his career to mourn his passing.”
Sheriff Met Cay
“Sheriff Bittle’s dedicated law enforcement career serving the City of Falls Church community as the Sheriff and as a police officer with the City of Falls Church Police Department spanned 54 years. The outpouring of condolences for his passing which are greatly appreciated by the members of our office and his family are a testament to the many friends, colleagues and others with whom he shared his good nature and company.”
The City also said that Bittle was honored by the Virginia House of Delegates in Feb. 2017 for what was, at the time, 50 years of service. The House Joint Resolution lauded his professionalism and service:
WHEREAS, under Steve Bittle’s leadership, the Falls Church Sheriff’s Office has upheld the highest levels of professionalism and promoted a safe and secure environment for all residents; and
WHEREAS, Steve Bittle implemented a community-oriented policing strategy and strives to build mutual respect between his deputies and members of the public as they work together to enhance the quality of life in Falls Church; and
WHEREAS, Steve Bittle has been a loyal and exceptional employee and public servant to the City of Falls Church throughout his career…