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Abeln honored for 30 years of service


At a recent meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Assistant Police Chief of Administration Jeff Abeln was honored for 30 years of service to the Collierville community.

Abeln came from a military family and so he joined the Army not long after graduating from Millington High School in 1981. After three years of service as a Military Police Officer, Abeln was discharged into the civilian world.

He decided the most logical career choice would be to become a police officer. Abeln joined the Collierville Police Department in 1987.

After a steady progression through the ranks, Abeln was named Assistant Chief of Administration in 2008. He is an active member of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, The Law Enforcement Executive Development Association and the Memphis Metropolitan Association of Chiefs of Police.

Abeln said that some of the best advice he received as a rookie patrolman was to take advantage of learning as much about the department as possible and to be well rounded as a police officer.

He followed that advice and now feels that it helped him progress within the department by giving him a broader perspective of the job than he might have had otherwise.

“Sometimes you’re offered work that you may not be very interested in, but you take it so you can learn about that aspect of the job,” said Abeln. “It also gives you good perspective on what is going on within the department overall.”

Abeln was also advised by a senior officer to get involved in the community he was protecting. He took that advice as well, and has been very active with youth sports and non-profits in Collierville. He has served on the Main Street Collierville Board of Trustees, the Town of Collierville Environmental Commission and the Town

Beautiful Commission. He’s also is an alumnus of Leadership Collierville and served as its President of the Board of Trustees in 2009 and in 2011 was awarded the H.R. Houston Leadership Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service to the Community.

“It makes you want to work a little harder at work when you put personal investment into the community and can see all the good that comes from it,” said Abeln.

He said he is looking forward to serving Collierville for many more years.

Over the years, Abeln has also managed to maintain a good balance between work life and home life. One of the ways is beekeeping. He discovered the hobby about four years ago, and said that taking care of the bees and observing the process of their own work and life is very relaxing for him.

“It’s calming, and it’s interesting to watch the biology of what they’re doing,” said Abeln. “And yes, it’s a conversation piece because it’s such a different kind of hobby from most.”

Abeln has several hives at his home and the bees produce a lot of honey. Besides the obvious benefits of eating the honey and giving it away to friends, Abeln said he just enjoys the docile nature of the bees.

“It’s a good respite from police work, even in a town as quiet as Collierville.”

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