Being a law enforcement officer is something Columbus Police Chief Charles Sherer has never taken for granted in the 44 years of his career. He, like all the other men and women part of local law enforcement, wears the badge with pride.
“If I didn’t believe in it, I wouldn’t do it,” Sherer affirmed. “But it’s a matter of giving back to the public and providing service to the community. When people are in dire straits, who do they call? They call the police department. And so, we’re their answer to a lot of their problems …”
There’s a lot more to law enforcement than simply serving and protecting the community. In a lot of ways, the chief noted, local law enforcement officers are there for the public in their times of need.
National Police Week was created in 1962 after then-president of the United States John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726. The law designated May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and stated that the week in which the day falls should be National Police Week.
Every year, the National Law Enforcement Officers organize a Memorial Service to honor police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. National Police Week is recognized across America, including in Columbus.
Sherer, who started in law enforcement in 1979, said he and the entire department are extremely grateful for the community’s ongoing support throughout the years. He noted it helped with getting a new police department headquarters built several years ago (Columbus voters approved up to a $16-million bond to fund the construction of new police and fire stations back in 2018). It was also on full display when Officer Brad Wangler was shot in the line of duty while serving a warrant back in June 2018 and made a full recovery.
“I think we’re blessed to live in the community we live in,” Sherer said, adding those examples are a true reflection of the community’s support of law enforcement. “I think we’re blessed that we have a community that supports us.”
Columbus Police Chief Charles Sherer
Sherer said he and the entire Columbus Police Department team are proud to serve the community, noting he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
“Before becoming a police officer, I worked in a factory. And I knew I didn’t want to work in a factory for the rest of my life and do the same thing day in, day out. I wanted something that would challenge me differently each and every day, working with different people and working in different environments. By that I mean rain, sun, cold, whatever it might be,” Sherer recalled.
“There was something that challenged you each and every day you went to work. Whether it be the calls you get, the environment you work in, or the people you work with, you got a different view each day of the world and perspective … That’s why I stayed with it and that’s why I’m still with it.”
City Administrator Tara Vasicek praised the entire Columbus Police Department for its ongoing efforts to keep the community safe.
“I believe the Columbus Police Department is well-respected in the community because they’re professional men and women. They work hard, and without their service, nothing else in Columbus would be what it is,” Vasicek said.
“Law enforcement is the backbone of public safety. It’s the cornerstone of a good community. They represent Columbus really well as a city and keep everyone in Columbus safe.”