Lawbreakers take notice. A familiar name is back on the beat and patrolling the streets of Columbus once again. The Columbus Police Department officially introduced our newest police canine, “Cleon”, in a brief event held on May 27 at CPD. K-9 Cleon, a 1½-year-old German Shepherd, is named in honor of former Columbus police officer Cleon Sweeney, a 36 year veteran of CPD who served as an officer from 1954-1990. Sweeney who was known as Badge #001 to other officers and their families, passed away in July 2015.
K-9 Cleon, and his partner, Officer John Busack Jr., recently returned to Columbus after several weeks of training in Michigan. Officer Busack stated; “Being selected as a canine officer is one of the most fulfilling things in my life. What these dogs are capable of understanding and doing is astonishing. K-9 Cleon and I are building a strong bond and I love learning and working together with him.”
A number of people including city officials, local media, and Sweeney’s family attended the introduction event earlier today. Stacy Sweeney, who is one of Officer Sweeney’s children advised; “Our dad was always so very proud that he had spent his life’s work as a police officer on the Columbus Police Department. Dad was the embodiment of the term “to protect and serve” and did just that for 36 years. The fact that this fine Department has chosen to memorialize him in this manner means more to our family than words can express. We only hope that this new K-9 officer comes to experience the love and support from CPD and this entire community to the extent our Dad did. Thank you CPD for remembering him.”
Columbus Chief of Police, Michael Richardson added, “Officer Sweeney was a beloved member of our Department who spent his career helping keep Columbus safe.” It is a fitting tribute that K-9 Cleon and Officer Busack continue the work that Officer Sweeney performed for over three decades.”
Officer Busack and K-9 Cleon are assigned to the afternoon patrol shift and work in coordination with CPD’s two other handlers and canines, Officer Marcus Clark and K-9 Bane as well as Officer Branch Schrader and K-9 Argo.