SIDNEY — Sidney Police Chief Will Balling’s service, leadership and volunteerism was recently recognized as he was selected for a distinguished service award and elected as second vice president of Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP).
In April, Balling learned he was nominated by Bellefontaine Police Chief Brandon Stanley for the William E. Crosier Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented to an active OACP police chief member to recognize extraordinary volunteer service during the current OACP membership year in unselfishly offering time, talent, and leadership to the members, mission and OACP programs.
The OACP is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to continuing professionalism and innovation among police executives in order to assure the continued success of the law enforcement community.
Balling said he was completely surprised and honored to learn he received the award.
“When you are recognized by your peers, it probably makes it a little more important to you because they’re seeing what you are doing and giving value to what you are doing,” said the chief, who has served as leader of the Sidney Police department since 2013.
Balling is very active in his professional life and within the community by serving on several committees and also as the current board president for the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA. He is also a member of the OACP Education Committee, Advisory Services and Health and Wellness committee. He serves as a test proctor and role player for the advisory services during promotional examinations.
Balling also works with the Ohio Collaborative as and OACP peer to peer and assessor. He has helped over 50 departments obtain their certification through the Ohio Collaborative, and has served as a peer reviewer for the Office of Criminal Justice Services as a Jag Grant peer reviewer.
Earlier this month during police week, his department received the National Officer Safety and Wellness Award for comprehensive safety from the Destination Zero Program in 2018. In 2017, the Sidney Police Department took the second place award for Health and Wellness from the Destination Zero Program, and also the Ascension Award for most improved department in the cities risk management group in 2014.
Balling will be presenting at a Destination Zero training conference in Arizona in August about his department’s the officer wellness and safety programs.
Also, recently at the annual OACP conference, Balling was elected as second vice president of the organization’s executive board. Balling said prior to the election he was approached by OACP members, including former president and mentor to Balling, Vandalia Police Chief Doug Knight, (who recently passed away) to run, and he won the seat.
“Doug just passed away. I felt honored that he asked me, and he was a mentor, and I agreed to do it,” Balling said. “And then they have an election at the meeting with all of the attendees. And it’s like any other election —you can win or lose.”
Balling will step into his new position as second vice president for 2018 in June. He will then serve as first vice president in 2019 and as president in 2020.
“It’s a privilege to be on the executive board. It is also: anticipation, is another word I would use, because there is a lot of good we can do, but also a lot of work that comes with that,” Balling said of about being elected. “You have a responsibility to the members to do a good job. And I don’t want to let anybody down.”
The OACP was established in 1928. The association is a fully staffed organization offering a broad range of professional, educational and informational services. Their goals are to serve the member; to increase our public’s understanding of the role police play in maintaining our quality of community life; and to foster improvements in police education, practice and research.
“We (members of the OACP) are doing a lot of good. We want to continue doing that in Ohio, continue making the (police) departments better and continuing to improving the relationships with all of the law enforcement agencies in Ohio,” he said.
Balling is a Police Executive Leadership College (PELC) and Certified Law Enforcement Executive program (CLEE) graduate. He also graduated from Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justices from Wright State University and earned a Master’s degree in justice administration from Tiffin University. He and his wife Suzanne have five children and one grandchild.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.