SIDNEY — An emotional Will Balling announced his intention to retire as Sidney police chief during Monday’s Sidney City Council meeting.
“In 1994 I obtained a position with the Sidney Police Department,” said Balling. “Over these years, I have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and serve the citizens of Sidney. With that said, every journey must end, and I am submitting my official letter of resignation. The date of my retirement will be Jan. 5, 2023.”
The job with the Sidney Police Department was his first appointment as an officer. He was named police chief on May 31, 2013.
Until his retirement, Balling will work toward a smooth transition as the city hires a new police chief.
“During the next six months, I will be working with city staff and department members to make the transition easier and provide them with the information they will need to continue providing excellent service to our citizens,” said Balling. “I will complete several open grants, the 2023 operating budget, ensure our mandatory training is completed, submit our Ohio Collaborative documents and other critical tasks.
“I will also help Capt. (Rob) Jameson transition to his new role and develop others to be able to do all my duties. I intend to set up the department for continued success after retiring,” he said. “I want to thank the city for all my opportunities and the wonderful people I have had the chance to work with throughout the years.”
Jameson, said Balling Tuesday morning, became the administrative captain for the department in the spring of this year.
“Some of his roles will be leading dispatch, evidence supervisor, grant coordinator and facility manager. He has already learned how to dispatch and will be a great asset to the department,” explained Balling.
City Manager Andrew Bowsher said the city will begin a search for a new police chief.
“As an appointed official of the City Manager, the Chief and I have had conversations regarding his goals, objectives and personal wishes for his future. We wish Chief Balling the best of luck in retirement, and his next pursuits,” said Bowsher.
“His outside connections have proven invaluable, and a major asset to the functionality of the department. His replacement will need to be a dynamic team builder, with strong interpersonal and public speaking skills. We will be launching a search with the help of an outside firm. We hope to start the search in August.
“The administration will have a lot to work until then, but it will be imperative to find a qualified candidate to grow, and enhance the great personnel we already have in place,” said Bowsher.
The announcement came as a surprise for council members.
“Chief Balling began his career here, steadily rising through the ranks to serve as our chief of police. Although I’ve known for some time that he has been contemplating retirement, this evening’s announcement was unexpected,” said Mike Barhorst, council member.
“In addition to his work here, he has also served as president of the Ohio Chiefs of Police. The contacts one makes when serving in such a capacity are irreplaceable,” Barhorst said. “Certainly I wish him and the department well during this period of transition.”
“I first met Chief Will Balling in the 1990’s when he was riding on the bike patrol downtown for the Sidney Police. He took the time to show onlookers the bike & patiently answered everyone’s numerous questions since this was the first time anyone had seen an officer patrolling Sidney on a bicycle,” said council member Steve Wagner.
“Will has been a valuable representative for the city. In his rise through the ranks of the P.D. he always took the time to visit with all residents he encountered,” Wagner said. “I wish him well as he he embarks in the next chapter of his life.”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.