Detective returns to Madison Township to share experience

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

A former Madison Township reserve and patrol law enforcement officer returned to his roots after a 31 year career with the city of Columbus.

Retired city homicide detective Paul Callahan initially joined the Madison Township Police Department as a reserve officer in January, 1985 and then full time six months later as a patrol officer. He left in 1987 to join the Columbus Police Department.

According to Madison Township Police Chief Gary York, during the summer of 2018, Callahan, who was a Columbus Police Cold Case Homicide Detective at the time, volunteered to assist the township police department with a review of a previously unsolved homicide that occurred in Madison Township in the early 1980s.

“Paul and I began talking about how his knowledge, training, and experience as a cold case homicide detective could help improve the Madison Township Police Department’s Detective Bureau,” said York. “That’s just something you cannot get from a textbook or training course.”

York said Callahan was rehired by the township in November, 2018 after retiring from the city following 31 years of service.

“What I saw in Paul was someone with the passion to do the job and to do it right,” said York. “His experience and on-the-job training are unmatched. My vision, by bringing Paul on as a supervisor in our detective bureau, was a way to standardize the operations of the detective bureau and introduce our officers and future detectives to a new way of doing things. It’s an entirely new thought process for the Madison Township Police Department. And we are seeing results. Paul has a lot of experience and comes with previous work as a field training officer, freeway patrol officer, homicide and cold case homicide detective.”

York said he hopes to harness Callahan’s experience and abilities to refine and develop better, more proactive crime prevention methods. He is confident Callahan will assist township officers with improving initial reporting skills, conducting fruitful investigations and carefully processing a crime scene.

“To me, in order to improve your police department and move it forward, your officers need the newest technology and latest training to do their jobs better,” said York. “This really helps with the credibility of the department and promotes our image as a professional law enforcement agency.”

Before Callahan joined the CPD detective bureau, he served nine years in the traffic bureau, was a field training officer and a member of the field training committee and spent his first ten years as a patrol officer.

When he became a Columbus detective in 2011, he worked in the assault squad, homicide and finally in the cold case unit. His duties and responsibilities included investigating and successfully prosecuting felonious assaults and homicides. He also investigated suspicious deaths and cold cases as part of his regular duties.

“I decided I wanted a career in law enforcement while I was still in high school,” said Callahan. “I became a member of the Madison Township Police Department Law Enforcement Explorer program in 1978 and was an active member until 1982. I worked patrol with officers of the department and learned how to perform many of the day-to-day duties of a police officer.”

Callahan said he decided to return to the township after retiring from Columbus because it is where it all started for him.

“I grew up here,” said Callahan. “I am a 1980 graduate of Groveport Madison High School. I care about this community and the people who live here. “

Callahan said the public can help officers by being a good witness, watching out for neighbors and calling the police if they see suspicious activity.

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