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Deputy police chief retires after 34 years
Cove Leader-Press
Deputy Chief Mike Heintzelman of the Copperas Cove Police Department was recognized for his more than three decades with the department during a retirement reception on Wednesday afternoon.
He began his work with the city on Jan. 1, 1982 and officially concluded his employment with the City of Copperas Cove on May 13.
Kirby Lack, mayor pro tem, was present to read a proclamation from the city designating May 18 as Deputy Chief Mike Heintzelman Day.
“I’m glad I get to do this,” Lack said before reading. “I’m sad you’re retiring, but I’m glad you spent all these years and kept safe. You didn’t get hurt. You did good, Mike.”
Heintzelman grew up in Copperas Cove and graduated from Copperas Cove High School. He went on to earn an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Central Texas College, which he received in May 1988.
Over his 34 years with the city, he worked his way through the ranks, first as a patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and became deputy chief in August 2000. During that time, he attended numerous training schools to include the 188th session of the FBI National Academy located in Quantico, Va. in 1997. He obtained his master peace officer certification, as well as attended and successfully completed the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Insttitue of Texas, completing the staff leadership programs in both 2012 and 2014.
Heintzelman was also supervisor of the Animal Control Department, which falls under the public safety arm of the city.
As for his plans now that he no longer has to keep to a set schedule, he plans to enjoy life, ride his motorcycles and travel, Sgt. Martin Ruiz read in a brief speech.
“We wish him nothing but the best,” Ruiz said.
During the reception, he was presented with a gift of a personalized clock by the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.
Heintzelman took a few moments to speak about his decision to retire and his time working for the city.
“I have mixed emotions because I’ve enjoyed my life here. I really have. Not only in this department, but in this town. There’s good people in this town,” he said. “I do want to recognize other departments, the fire department, the drainage department. All the departments, and I had the opportunity to visit with them. I know y’all thought I was just playing around and having coffee, but that was my place to socialize.
This town has been wonderful to me, the city has. I just felt it was right for me at this time to go ahead and retire. I just feel good. Like I said, mixed, but I feel more good than sad. I know I’m still here, I’m walking away good in every aspect. My life will continue. Whether or not I seek employment, that might come down the road. I’m not saying I’m going to jump right back into workplace or anything like that.”
Heintzelman said so far he’s enjoyed retirement, including little things like wearing blue jeans even though it’s not Friday, and the fact he didn’t necessarily have to be on time to the reception.
“The only reason I came (early) was because Carol Rogers wanted to meet with me at quarter till to give me a card. If she didn’t do that, I’d probably have been late to that,” he quipped. “I’ll still see everybody, and people have my phone number. If you don’t have it, see me. I want to keep in touch with everybody.”
He had a few words to say about his successor in supervising the Animal Control Department, Lt. Brian Wyers.
“I love animals and everything, but when you run an animal shelter, people get pretty passionate about animals and that was probably more of my headaches dealing with animal control than even with the police department,” he said. “Lt. Wyers is going to handle that and I wish him the best of luck. I have confidence in him because he’s pretty patient with people and will listen to them. I’ve got a feeling this is going to work out just fine for him.”
After a brief ceremony, during which Sgt. Ruiz presented Heintzelman with a framed memento of his time at the city, to include Heintzelman’s badge, cake and punch were served while Heintzelman visited with his friends and former colleagues.
Several scrapbooks covering more than 30 years of newspaper clippings related to the police department were on display.


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Copperas Cove, TX 76522
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