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Retiring officers have 79 years of combined service
Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
Sgt. David Eing gets ready to enjoy his cake during the retirement party his fellow officers threw for him and Rex Eskins. Eing said his retirement plans include spending time with his family and trying to sleep in.
Officer Rex Eskins gets a miniature replica of a paddy wagon from his partner Officer Steve O’Brien at the retirement party. Eskins said he plans to look at pontoon boats and stay busy during his retirement.
Two long-standing officials with the Columbus Police Department are saying goodbye to the job they love and saying hello to retirement.
On Feb. 4, after a combined 79 years on the force, Sgt. David Eing and Officer Rex Eskins turned in their equipment and hung up their uniforms for the last time.
Throughout their years patrolling the streets of Columbus, they have seen all there is to imagine. They have been shot at, run over, saved lives, delivered babies and have never once thought about changing their professions. Here is a look at the men behind the badge.
David Eing has lived on the westside for a large majority of his life. He attended Aquinas High School and worked construction around the area. In 1964, he joined the Army National Guard. Two years into his service, he ran into a friend who would help to shape his career.
“He was on the police department,” Eing said. “I asked how the job was, and he told me it was a good job and a good place to work. Soon after, I took the test and got on.”
He recalls his first day on the job.
“I had to work traffic on Broad and High and there was eight inches of snow on the ground,” he laughed.
Soon after, he started more patrolling duties and has been working the westside for the past 22 years. He said the change he has seen has been startling.
“When I started on the westside, it was all a working, middle-class neighborhood with little crime. Now, there are lots of gangs, lots of drugs, and prostitution.”
Rex Eskins, who has been working the westside beat for 20 years, shared the same sentiment.
“The crime has gotten more sophisticated,” he said. “Before, we just had to deal with things like a UDF robbery, but now there are people stealing identities.”
Like Eing, Eskins began his career after serving in the military.
At 18, Eskins joined the Marine Corps. His term was during the Vietnam War, but he was never deployed to the country. Three months before his service was slated to be over, he was called for duty but received a Hardship Discharge in order to help his mother take care of his younger brothers and sisters when their father died.
After leaving the military, the West Virginia native worked at various places like Buckeye Steel Castings, a 7-UP bottling company and an RV dealership before joining CPD in 1975.
“I liked the excitement and the camaraderie that was in the Marine Corps,” Eskins said. “You get that same sense of solidarity in the police department as you do in the military.”
Over the course of their careers, Eskins and Eing have received awards for their service. Eskins was awarded a Blue Star Medal after being hit by a car in the early 1980s and received a Medal of Merit for performing CPR and saving a man’s life. Eing was also awarded a Medal of Merit for performing CPR and saving the life of car accident victim in the 1970s. Eing received a Safe Driving Award for never being involved in a cruiser accident.
Both men said the thing they won’t miss about the job is the new technology in the cruisers.
“Did Dave start cussing when talking about the computers?” Eskins asked. “The only time I have ever heard him curse was when he talked about them.”
Eing explained the reason why he hated the latest technology is that it hinders them from interacting with the community.
“It keeps us away from the streets and the public interactions,” he said. “We’re tied up constantly with these computers and it takes us away from our job.”
As for what they’ll miss most about the job, they both said backing up their co-workers.
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