CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) – The City of Campbell has hired its first new full-time officer in two years.
But that is not the only reason Tuesday’s swearing in was significant. Officer Darrick Ball is also the first minority officer to be hired full time in the department since 1974.
Ball said Tuesday was the realization of a long-time dream for him and he looks forward to serving the Campbell community.
“Definitely meant a lot. This is something I have been looking forward to for a long time. Started in college, went for criminal justice at YSU,” he said.
Campbell Police Chief Drew Rauzan said he is thrilled Ball accepted the city’s offer. Rauzan said Ball was being courted by several police departments and having him in Campbell is a big win for the city.
Ball’s mother, Burdette Sugick, said she always knew he would become a police officer.
“Ever since he was little,” Sugick said.
“I would say since high school. I wouldn’t say since I was a kid, but definitely something I have wanted to do,” Ball said.
He has worked part-time for the Campbell Police Department for two years and he found out Tuesday he was officially hired full-time. Sugick said she will always remember the phone call from her son.
“No more part time. So I was happy for him. He has been trying to do it for a while now,” she said.
And he already is breaking down barriers.
“Definitely a different step for diversity. I appreciate every opportunity that the chief, the mayor of this city gave toward me. And I feel welcome here whether minority or not,” Ball said.
The chief said it is important for police departments to reflect the communities they serve.
“I definitely think folks that grew up in your city, communities, should be represented on the city police departments. Some of the problems in urban police departments is that they are staffed by suburban officers,” Rauzan said.
And that representation is important at Campbell.
“You know, I am a city kid, went to city schools,. Darrick Ball is a city kid that went to city schools. So yes, I am excited,” Rauzan said.
Ball said he hopes other minorities will follow in his footsteps.
“It is definitely important for the community to see that it is not just one side. I believe more minorities should get involved,” Ball said.