BUCYRUS — On Wednesday, Galion native Sgt. Chris Heydinger retired from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department after 29½ years of service.
“I’m going to miss the people,” Heydinger said. “There is a great bunch of people here at the sheriff’s office.
“I’ve enjoyed it and I’ve had a great career,” he continued. “In 29 plus years, I’ve only had two sheriffs to work under. Sheriff (Ron) Shawber hired me, and now the last five years under Sheriff (Scott) Kent.”
A 1984 graduate of Galion High School, Heydinger attending Hocking College where he earned an associates degree in Wildlife Management. Upon his college graduation, he was hired as a seasonal park ranger in Pennsylvania. He did that for two years, and then returned to Ohio and became a part of the Crawford County Reserve unit in 1987.
His career at the sheriff’s office started as a dispatcher, before moving through the ranks as a corrections officer at the County Jail to becoming and on-the-road deputy.
Heydinger was promoted to Sargeant in 2001. He attended and graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2004, and was appointed to commander of the sheriff’s office Special Response Team for four years.
“Chris’ knowledge has been so appreciated within the department,” said Kent. “I have always been able to receive a fair answer from him. He has been a great resource and co-worker.”
In a presentation Wednesday — with friends, family and other law enforcement in attendance — the sheriff presented Heydinger with a plaque recognizing his retirement from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office as well as a Wildlife Award from the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
“It’s been the best job in the world,” he said.
But at 51-years-old, Heydinger is ready to spend a lot more time with his wife Amy and their two kids.
“In this job, especially being a detective, the job came first,” he said. “Now it’s time to put family first. They’ve earned it!”