Stephen J. Ballard was born to Robin and Kevin Ballard at Reynolds Army Base in Lawton, Oklahoma. Relocating with his family to Bowie, Maryland at a young age, he matriculated through the Bowie Public School System. Throughout his school years, he participated in many extracurricular activities such as, the Civil Air Patrol program at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County and was an active member of the Navy Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). After graduating from Bowie High School, Stephen enrolled at Delaware State University and in 2007, earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and sociology.
In October 2008, Corporal/1 Ballard was hired as a Delaware State Trooper, as part of the 80th Delaware State Police Recruit Class. He completed training on July 13, 2009, and was assigned to Troop 4, Patrol in Sussex County. In October of 2010, Corporal/1 Ballard was promoted to Trooper First Class; and then to the rank of Corporal in 2012. In November of 2013 Stephen transferred to Troop 3, Patrol in Kent County. After serving the Kent County community for two years, Corporal/1 Ballard was assigned to Troop 2, Patrol in New Castle County. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal/1 on October 31, 2016.
Corporal/1 Ballard is described by his supervisors as a proactive law enforcement officer, who garnered the respect of his fellow troopers, and served the citizens of the State of Delaware with great distinction. He was recognized for his extraordinary efforts earning two Certificates of Commendation and two Lifesaving Awards. He successfully completed the Delaware State Police leadership course, “Leadership Development Program”. He had an interest in joining the DSP Mounted Patrol Unit, and was actively training in order to successfully be selected.
It should be noted that Corporal/1 Ballard is one of the very few Troopers to have worked in all three counties within the State of Delaware.
Among the many professional opportunities with the State Police, Corporal/1 Ballard served as a member of the Conflict Management Team, where he was tasked with diffusing conflicts in the workplace.
In 2014, Corporal/1 Ballard joined the Delaware Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and was an active member of the chapter. He impacted the lives of many throughout the state, especially the students majoring in Criminal Justice at Delaware State University. Corporal/1 Ballard sat on the board for the Annual Chief’s reception committee, and Collegiate Chapter advisory committee. He established and spearheaded the Annual NOBLE Delaware Crab Feast Committee where he successfully raised funds to benefit the Collegiate Chapter. These funds were utilized to assist collegiate chapter students in attending the NOBLE national conference, where they received opportunities to receive training, network, and obtain opportunities of mentorship and employment through relationships garnered at the conferences. He participated in several NOBLE Delaware law enforcement career fairs where hundreds of students had the opportunity to speak with recruiters and law enforcement officials about obtaining a career in law enforcement. Corporal/1 Ballard believed strongly in being an example through leadership. He dedicated countless time, effort, and personal funds to providing positive opportunities and experiences for numerous young people.
Corporal/1 Ballard was well known for his warm, calm, and friendly demeanor, for his generosity, humor and infectious smile. Corporal/1 Ballard’s spirit is one of love, compassion, integrity, and friendship. Corporal/1 Ballard is a man of faith and believed that all things were in God’s hands. One of his favorite things to say in regards to God’s prevailing grave mercy and love was “Won’t He do it.” It is clear based on the many lives that have been affected by his tragic passing, that he was a man of character and joy.
Tragically, Corporal/1 Ballard was killed by an armed assailant while protecting the citizens of Delaware on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.
He leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife, Louise Lewis Ballard, daughter, Abigail Lewis; parents, Kevin and Robin Ballard, mother-in-law, Sharon Cummings; 5 aunts, 2 uncles, fellow State Troopers, and his extended NOBLE Delaware Chapter Family. Corporal/1 Ballard is preceded in death by his grandmother, Ruth Noble.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” ~ Ephesians 2:9