Police department shares plan for post-retirement staffing

Three retirements at the Columbus Police Department are resulting in a shifting of responsibilities.

Police Chief Jon Rohde said the department was informed in January that three lieutenants — Mike Ward, Alan Trisler and Dave Heeb — plan to retire later this year. The police department plans to realign its existing staff to cover the supervisor shortages that will result in no additional cost to the city, Rohde said.

Ward has been with the police department for 28 years and earlier worked at the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department. Trisler and Heeb have both worked for the police department for more than 30 years, said Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the department.

Columbus City Council members on Tuesday approved an amendment to its salary ordinance to reflect the staffing changes that will result in seven lieutenants, 16 sergeants and 56 patrol officers. Rohde said the department is currently hiring and plans to have three new patrol officers in place by August to fill open positions.

Once the new officers are hired, the council will be required to amend the salary ordinance again, which is expected to take place in September. The change would result in 58 patrol officers, with 17 sergeants and four lieutenants making up the rest of the roster, according to Rohde’s plan.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com