Financial Watch Summer 2019 Chief Ballard was born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in health and physical education from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, and a Master of Arts in health and physical education from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN. After receiving her Master’s degree, Chief Ballard moved out West to California, but Los Angeles was not for her so she hopped on a plane to Hawaii. When she first arrived, Chief Ballard worked in the private sector. She quickly realized she was unsatisfied with her job so at the urging of her friend, she took the Honolulu Police entrance exam. Even then, however, Chief Ballard wasn’t sure she wanted to become a Police Officer. It wasn’t until she received her third offer call that she finally accepted and joined the Honolulu Police Department. Since joining the Department in 1985, Chief Ballard worked in every division at the Honolulu Police Department. When asked what her favorite position was, Chief Ballard says she enjoyed being a Lieutenant in Patrol. According to her, at that level, you’re still under the protection of SHOPO, but are at a level which allows you to instill positive change. Plus, Chief Ballard particularly enjoys working with her fellow Officers and the community at large, which is why she enjoys Patrol so much, even to this day. Chief Ballard also liked working in Finance. She says working there was a challenge, but that she learned a lot. Plus, because of the nature of the work done in that division, Finance touches all other Divisions within the Department, as well as other agencies within the City. This gave her a better understanding of how the Department works, as well as what needs to be done to get much- needed funding. In her last position before becoming Chief, Chief Ballard worked in Central Receiving. It’s another job Chief Ballard enjoyed, though for different reasons. There, along with her team, she was able to make massive improvements by doing “little things” here and there, such as equipment upgrades, catching up on maintenance, and even by merely painting the area. As is evident, Chief Ballard is a very hands-on kind of person. That’s not something that’s changed since she became Chief either. While Chief Ballard does have regular meetings, she needs to attend with Command Staff, the City, Media, and so forth, she makes it a priority to hop in a car and spend time with Patrol or to walk around the Main Station to interact with Officers. Doing so not only allows her to get a pulse on morale, but it also allows for the exchange of ideas with Officers doing the work affected by various policies and procedures instituted by the Department. One of Chief Ballard’s latest community affairs is bringing back the HPD Retirees and Ohana Reunion annual dinner. This event brings Officers, current and retired, together to unite and cherish each other and the department successes. It is no doubt that Chief Ballard continues to support Officers from recruits to retirees. When asked what the most significant change for her was when transitioning to Chief, Chief Ballard says it’s the lifestyle. You see, when you’re the Chief, you no longer have any anonymity. Everywhere you go, people recognize you and want to talk to you, even if you’re spending time with friends or family. She does enjoy these interactions with the public and appreciates people taking the time to say hi. Further, since she’s recognizable as the Honolulu Police Chief, Chief Ballard can no longer “have a beer” in public; even when she’s not in uniform and not driving. Plus, as Chief, your schedule, like your life, is no longer your own. Your schedule is dictated by, not only the needs of the department, but by various events and appearances too. But, all of the above is worth it to Chief Ballard. That’s because being Chief allows Chief Ballard to assist others throughout our community while also helping to improve the department and bring the “aloha” back to policing. In fact, Chief Ballard’s only goal for her time as Chief is to leave the Honolulu Police Department a better Law Enforcement Agency, Employer, and Community Partner than it was when she took the reins. In what spare time Chief Ballard does have, she enjoys relaxing at home and spending time with her three dogs and blind cat. She is also an avid fitness enthusiast that spends a considerable portion of her free time biking near her home in Kailua, running, practicing yoga, lifting weights, and walking her dogs. Though retirement is far into the future for Chief Ballard, she says that what she looks forward to most in retirement is the freedom of no longer being a public official and being able to simply relax. She also hopes to be able to do volunteer work at various animal sanctuaries across the country and would like to visit as many of our National Parks as she can. We sat down with Honolulu Police Department’s Chief of Police, Susan Ballard back in May. Before she even took on the Chief of Police role, she joined our Supervisory Committee in 1999 and even served as Supervisory Committee Chair from 2000 to 2009. Our HLEFCU Ohana is extremely proud of the accomplishments Chief Ballard has made and are excited for the positive impacts she continues to make on the community. Chief Ballard is currently over a year-and-a-half into serving as the Chief of Police, which makes it hard to believe she initially didn’t plan on becoming a Police Officer. Before we get into that, let’s take it further back in time. Chief of Police, Susan Ballard Member F O C U S Honolulu PD Retirees and Ohana Reunion Thursday, August 15th at 5pm at the Ala Moana Hotel, Hibiscus Ballroom. Call HPRA at 808.942.3873 for more information/tickets.