Grandview Heights Police Chief Rollin Kiser is retiring, effective today (Thursday, March 31).

Grandview Heights Police Chief Rollin Kiser is retiring, effective today (Thursday, March 31).

"Last February was the end of my 40th year in law enforcement. It just seems like the time to move on to the next phase of my life," said Kiser, who has served as police chief since June 2004.

His career in law enforcement began "by happenstance" in 1970 when he saw a listing for a position in Upper Arlington.

"I had come out of the military and I wasn't really enjoying the job I had at the time," Kiser said. "So I took a test and applied for the Arlington job."

He wasn't feeling too good about his chances, he said, when then-Arlington chief Roy Thomas called and offered him the job.

Law enforcement was "something that immediately clicked for me," Kiser said.

He liked the similarities to a military structure as well as the camaraderie among police officers, Kiser said.

Most of all, he liked "doing my part to get the bad guys off the street," he said. "There's a certain element of people out there trying to put one over on everybody else. It's nice to hold those people accountable.

"You feel like you're doing something important for your community."

During his career, Kiser also worked for the Delaware County Sheriff's Department and more than 20 years with the Columbus Police Department. He taught at Columbus State and worked as a safety and security consultant, including a stint at COSI. He also served as Marysville Police Chief from 1997 to 2000.

Serving as a chief in a small town like Marysville or Grandview is rewarding, Kiser said.

"Being in a small community, you wear a lot of hats and you have the opportunity to meet a lot of the people you're serving," he said.

When he arrived in Grandview, "we were in the depths of the loss of Big Bear," Kiser said. "We've had to work with thin budgets. It's all been about doing more with less while still maintaining the level of service the community requires."

During his stint as chief, Grandview has created a motorcycle unit, expanded its bicycle unit and seen the beginnings of neighborhood block watch programs in Grandview and Marble Cliff, he said.

"I have to give our residents a lot of credit. They've responded when we've had tax levies on the ballot," Kiser said.

Even more, residents have done their part helping to keep an eye out for suspicious activity in the community, he said.

"We can't do it all by ourselves," Kiser said. "We need the community's cooperation and assistance."

He has enjoyed his time in Grandview, working with the members of his department and with the other department heads in the city, he said.

Kiser said he doesn't expect to become inactive just because he's retiring as chief.

"I have a couple of opportunities that have been presented to me and I'm looking into them," he said.

"Chief Kiser came on board shortly after I was elected, and he's done an excellent job for us," Mayor Ray DeGraw said. "He's done an excellent job working within his budget and done a lot of study of ways to improve the operation of his department.

"I've enjoyed working with him and I'm going to miss him, as a police chief and as a person," DeGraw said.

DeGraw said he is still considering who will fill the chief's duties while the search for a permanent replacement is conducted.