Three of the longest-serving police officers in the history of the Columbus Police Department have transitioned into retirement.

Both Lt. Alan Trisler and Lt. Dave Heeb have worked 36 years on the force – the same number of full years as the Patrolman Cleon Sweeney, who served from 1954 to 1990 and died in 2015.

Trisler’s last day was April 7. Heeb officially retired March 21. The third officer, Lt. Mike Ward, put in 28 years at the Columbus Police Department — plus three years prior with the local sheriff’s department — before retiring March 10.

“Somebody who stays 30-plus years doesn’t happen too often,” Columbus Police Chief Jon Rohde said. “Day in and day out, we come across a lot of bad situations. Law enforcement has a significant mental and physical impact on an individual.”

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While the department is losing 100 years of skill and experience, Rohde said all three retired lieutenants should be recognized for the self-sacrifices they and their families have made since the 1980s.

Following a Tuesday reception in Trisler’s honor, the three veteran officers sat down to reflect on those sacrifices, the ups and downs of their careers, and what lies ahead in their lives.

Learn more about Dave Heeb:

Learn more about Alan Trisler:

Learn more about Mike Ward:

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.