SIDNEY — Three new Sidney Police officers were sworn-in during the Monday evening Sidney City Council meeting.
Jordan Fox, Aaron Swiger and Virginia Helton were welcomed on April 18, 2022, to the city of Sidney and the Sidney Police Department (SPD) and its family, Sidney Police Chief Will Balling said, after they accepted offers made to become the next Sidney Police officers.
“This is a special time for our department, because I told you last council meeting, and I know several of you were here, we really pride our self on what we do. I presented our annual report last council meeting,” Balling said to the large crowd in attendance Monday at the beginning of his presentation. “We can’t accomplish that without the fine men and women of the SPD: our dispatchers, our office staff and the officers.”
“So at this time of year in this state, it is very important to us to hire the right people,” Balling continued. “Right now we are going through a transition with the police department. We have a lot of senior officers getting ready to retire. Sometimes that can be scary, but looking at the people that we are hiring in and the people that I am introducing tonight, it’s a time of opportunity with us.”
The first new hire introduced and sworn-in was Jordan Fox. He graduated from Sidney High School and then joined the United States Navy. During his time in the Navy, Balling said, he was on a submarine, served on the bomb squad, and worked in healthcare. Several of Fox’s references said he was very motivated and hardworking.
“Yes, I said bomb squad and healthcare both,” Balling said, which drew a chuckle from those in the audience. “Through the interview process, (his hard work/dedication) really showed through. His dedication, whether working at Dannon or working in the Navy, he was a leader. We want to see that skill develop here and we are excited to have him on board.”
Next Aaron Swiger was introduced and also sworn-in by City Manager Andrew Bowsher. Swiger graduated from Fairlawn High School, and then from Bowling Green State University, where he obtained a degree in criminal justice. During his time at BGSU, he completed an internship with the SPD totalling 400 unpaid hours of time, Balling said.
“Three months of his time he dedicated. During that time, we were able to see his work habits and learn more about him. His passion for helping others and doing the right thing was apparent,” Balling said. “His references gave him positive marks in the common core areas of honesty, reliability, trustworthiness, and emotional stability. Everything we want to see from our police officers to give back to the community, Aaron displayed.”
Balling said it was “really nice” to be able to hire locally.
Finally, Virginia Helton was introduced and was sworn-in. Helton graduated from Bucksport High School and then went to Cedarville University, where she earned a degree in criminal justice. After graduating from Cedarville, she worked at the Fairborn Municipal Court as a deputy bailiff while searching for a full-time law enforcement position.
“The chief probation officer for Fairborn advised that she displayed leadership and emphasized her maturity,” Balling said. “He advised that he would love to keep her but understood her desire to be an officer. He really raved about (her) during the background process. During the the process, maturity is one of the things we said even before reading on the background questions. Everything she talked about was wanting to help people, wanting to improve the community and wanting to give back, and we really appreciated it.”
Balling then stated the Sidney Police Departments’ core principles, which are professionalism, integrity, courage, and compassion. He said during the interviews and the hiring process, Fox, Swiger and Helton displayed those values. The new officers will be attending the Rhodes State Community College for their basic police officer training starting on April 25, 2022.
“We are excited to introduce them as the newest Sidney Police Officers, and we look forward to them and their families becoming part of our organization and the community,” Balling concluded, before the entire room stood for a round of welcoming applause.
Mayor Mardie Milligan also welcomed the three new officers, on behalf of City Council to the city of Sidney as its newest officers. Near the very end of Monday’s meeting Council member Scott Roddy praised Balling for hiring “local kids.” He asked when the officer training ceased with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Balling told him they always try to schedule it there when possible, but it would not have been possible until the beginning of next year, and given upcoming retirements within the department, waiting wasn’t an option.