Black Hawk County's chief deputy retires - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Black Hawk County's chief deputy retires

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Captain Rick Abben, of the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, is retiring after 43 years of service.

Sheriff Tony Thompson announced Abben's retirement Friday morning. 

"The retirement of Captain Abben creates a huge hole in this administration as his service was exemplary," said Sheriff Thompson. "His years of experience are certainly appreciated, and his technical expertise will be greatly missed. We wish him the very best in his retirement."

Captain Abben served as the Field Services Division Commander, and oversaw the Patrol, Investigations, and SWAT disciplines at the sheriff’s office. He was also the office’s Chief Deputy (or 1st Deputy) per Iowa Code and has been serving in that capacity since his appointment in 2009.

"He's a guy that-you know they say good leaders surround themselves with good people," said Sheriff Thompson. "I don't know if I'm a good leader or not, but he's one of the good ones that I'm privileged to have surrounded myself with."

Chief Deputy Abben says it's working for the community that has kept him around for all the years. However, the job has grown to be challenging over the years.

"The sentiment towards officers is different than it was back then," said Abben. T"here's not as much respect for law enforcement than when I first started."

Despite the challenges, Sheriff Thompson commends Abben on the impact he's had on the department. 

"Our new range training facility, he was deeply immersed in," said Abben. "He's just one of those strong dynamic leaders that are tough to find."

As far as plans for retirement, Abben says there are just a few plans. 

"My wife and I love to travel," said Abben. "We've been to every continent but one, and every state but three, so we got some places to go."

Captain Mark Herbst will be replacing Abben as Chief Deputy.

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