NOBLE golf tournament to honor slain trooper

Stephen J. Ballard

DOVER — Cpl. Stephen Ballard used to relish the opportunity to talk to students involved in the Criminal Justice program at Delaware State University, providing them with details about his job as a Delaware State Police trooper.

Cpl. Ballard, who was killed in the line of duty in May after serving eight years with the state police, took that passion toward law enforcement to the very end.

He was gunned down in the parking lot of a Wawa in Bear.

The Delaware Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) will be honoring the memory of Cpl. Ballard by hosting its first charity golf tournament at Middletown’s Frog Hollow Golf Course on Monday.

Frog Hollow is located at 1 Wittington Way in Middletown. Golfers can register for the tournament from 11:30 a.m. until the event begins with a shotgun start at 1 p.m.

All proceeds from the golf tournament will benefit the Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard Scholarship fund. The money raised will support the NOBLE collegiate students at Delaware State University who are pursuing a degree in criminal justice or a related field.

Chelle Roberts, Sergeant of Arms for NOBLE, said it will be a fitting tribute to a man who enjoyed getting the chance to mentor the organization’s 25 collegiate chapter members at Delaware State University, his alma mater.

“(Cpl.) Stephen (Ballard) impacted the lives of many throughout the state, especially the students majoring in Criminal Justice at the Delaware State University,” Ms. Roberts said. “He was passionate about mentoring collegiate chapter members at his alma mater and served as a true role model for all students interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement.

“Corporal Ballard was always returning on campus with his big genuine smile and enthusiasm to aid students. These students need mentoring from people who are in the field and he used to enjoy the chance to provide that mentoring.”

Prior to Monday’s golf tournament, Cpl. Ballard’s wife, Louise, will be presented with a National Peace Medal by Dr. Stephne’ Coney, founder and CEO of National Stop The Violence Alliance Inc.

The charity golf event costs $125 for a single golfer and $400 for a foursome. Golfers will receive a gift bag, round of golf, a golf cart, unlimited beverages on the course, hot dogs during registration and a buffet dinner with cocktails after golf.

Ms. Roberts said it should be a fun day with plenty of time set aside to reflect on the life of Cpl. Ballard.

She said she will always remember his interaction with the students at DSU.

“Stephen was dedicated to professionally socializing the youth by helping them prepare resumes and cover letters, through conducting mock interviews, locating internship opportunities, and helping students navigate the application and background check process for jobs,” said Ms. Roberts.

“He was a big part in (law enforcement) trying to help build that bridge between law enforcement and the community. We want to help bridge that gap and let these students understand how important it is to give back to the community.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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