Columbus police honor long-serving officer with named canine

Columbus Police Department has a new police dog on duty, named after a long-serving officer who held the department’s first numbered badge.

Police dog Cleon was introduced to the family of former Officer Cleon Sweeney at a ceremony at the police department this afternoon. Sweeney served 36 years with the department, retiring in 1990. He has the honor be being Badge #001 for the department. Sweeney died in July 2015.

Canine Cleon is a year and a half old German Shepherd trained both to find drugs and other items, and to attack if necessary. Cleon recently completed training with Columbus handler Officer John Busack Jr. The pair have already been on duty together, searching dozens of vehicles for drugs and working several pursuits, since they returned to Columbus in late March, Busack said.

Busack and Cleon are assigned to the afternoon patrol shift and are the third canine unit in the department. They join Officer Marcus Clark and his dog Bane and Officer Branch Schrader who is partnered with Argo.

Photo: New police dog Cleon and his handler, Officer John Busack Jr., meet the family of long-time officer Cleon Sweeney Thursday. WRB photo