Balling retires early

Shoemaker named interim chief



SIDNEY — The city of Sidney’s police department is now under the leadership of an interim chief.

Will Balling, who announced his pending retirement in June, had planned for Jan. 5, 2023, to be his retirement date. Last week, Balling opted to begin his retirement early. Friday was his last day as chief.

“I felt it was best for the city,” said Balling Thursday afternoon. “I felt it was best for me. I love the city of Sidney.”

However, he said, over the past several years he found himself questioning the external and internal changes he was experiencing.

“Others were leaving the department,” said Balling. “And I decided it’s the best time for me too. I have nothing but positive feelings for Sidney.”

Balling said in the three days he’s been off he’s been working various jobs with other departments in the state.

“I’m loving every minute of it,” said Balling. “It’s all new and exciting.

“I realized I was getting older. Sometimes when you have a coach, a new coach can come in with a new message for the players. I saw things that were happening and I knew it was time for a change.”

And the pause from being police chief will allow Balling to try new opportunities for his future.

“I feel re-energized,” said Balling. “But I know there are thing and people I will miss. I’ve loved working with the Sidney Daily News. I see new growth with the new director for the EMA. There’s great opportunity for growth in the community.

“It’s a changing world out there,” he said. “I love the community. It helped me raise my children.”

Balling began his law enforcement career in Sidney, rising through the ranks until he became chief on May 31, 2013.

City Manager Andrew Bowsher has named Capt. Bill Shoemaker as the interim chief until a replacement is named.

“He’s left the city in good standing,” said Bowsher. “When I took over (as city manager), there were some issues that I saw. Conversations were held. He and I had multiple conversations.”

Bowsher said the decision to Balling to retire now instead of January was a “mutual” agreement.

“Sometimes change is needed,” he said. “The chain of command is very clear with him (Shoemaker) sliding over to be interim chief. He doesn’t lead (the application process) for anybody to believe he’s the next chief.

“I have a duty to city council. I have a duty to the city to hire the best person for the job,” he continued. “I wish him (Chief Balling) all the best.”

Bowsher said the deadline for applicants for the new chief position has passed and the city has 15 candidates for the job, including one internal filing by Shoemaker.

All the candidates will be evaluated, he said. The interview process is expected to begin in November.

Shoemaker named interim chief