MPO Travis Heiden was recently honored as the Sully District Police Station’s Officer of the Quarter for July, August and September. He was feted at the Oct. 11 meeting of the station’s Citizens Advisory Committee.
Making the presentation was Lt. Matt Dehler who, at the time, was that station’s assistant commander. Dehler was also the person who recommended Heiden for this honor. And since they’ve known each other for three decades, it was important to Dehler to be the one to recognize his longtime friend.
“MPO Heiden is a 30-year cop, approaching retirement in a couple months,” said Dehler. “I wanted to do this presentation because, when I came out of the [Fairfax County Criminal Justice] Academy as a rookie in the ’90s, we worked together,” said Dehler.
Heiden began his career as a patrol officer in the Reston District and was then selected to the Reston Neighborhood Patrol Unit, where he served until 2004. After that, he spent 13 years with the Police Department’s Gang unit, in the early- and mid-2000s.
“This unit was instrumental in disrupting the operations of many major street gangs, including MS13 – as well as many different motorcycle gangs,” said Dehler. “MPO Heiden was there for over a decade. He spent a ton of time gathering intelligence and evidence and participating in numerous prosecutions against gang members for everything from narcotics distribution to murder. And for many years, he also trained FCPD officers on gang investigations.”
Heiden then came to the Sully District, finishing his career on the midnight shift. “He’s mentored many young officers in police tactics and investigations,” said Dehler. “He’s kept a lot of people safe, including his squad members, and we’re very proud of him.”