Retired deputy honored as ‘Officer of the Year’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 21, 2023

Bollinger served 25 years as Lawrence County deputy

Just days before his retirement from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Detective Sgt. Aaron Bollinger got a call on Thanksgiving Day from Prosecutor Brigham Anderson.

And it was not bad news, it was actually good news.

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Anderson told him that he had been named Ohio Prosecuting Attorney Association’s Officer of the Year, which surprised Bollinger because he didn’t even know he had been nominated.

“I was humbled by it,” Bollinger said. “In law enforcement, you don’t get a lot of awards, especially from a statewide organization.”

He got the award on Thursday in Columbus.

Bollinger retired from the sheriff’s office on Nov. 30 after 25 years of service.

He started out as a jailer and then went to road patrol 10 months later. He became a detective 20 years ago.

Even before he became a detective, Bollinger served on the Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force, which is run by the prosecutor’s office. The task force was formed in 1998 by then prosecuting attorney J.B. Collier Jr.

He is also works with the FBI. And even though he has retired, he remains a special deputy.

Anderson called Bollinger’s recognition as OPPA’s Officer of the Year “well deserved.”

They have worked together for two decades.

“He is just an exceptional police officer and exceptional detective,” Anderson said. “He goes above and beyond. He was instrumental in most of the major cases I’ve done in the past 20 years.”

He said that Bollinger not only assisted in the investigation, but often sat next to him in the courtroom during trials.

“He helped me prepare the trials and made sure I had everything ready to go,” Anderson said. “It was very nice when he got the award.”

As for the future, right now Bollinger is working on his house. After that, he may get back into some type of law enforcement job.

“After you retire, you have to wait two months before you can get hired back into law enforcement,” he said. “So we will see what happens.”