MUPD Sergeant Ballou reflects on positive impacts across campus

Marshall University Police Department’s Sergeant Scott Ballou said he is looking to create more of an impact for the Marshall University family. 

Ballou is originally from Rhode Island and moved to Daytona Beach, Florida when he was 12. He played baseball in high school and decided to play at Marshall in 1993. 

Ballou did not originally plan on staying in the state after he earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, but he said he “ended up meeting a West Virginia girl and stayed here and got a job at Marshall in 1999.”

Ballou can be recognized on campus for his rape aggression defense class, better known as R.A.D. He is the lead R.A.D. instructor and began teaching roughly 19 years ago. 

Ballou teaches the course through the Marshall University Police Department for women, and he said that he enjoys the class because he can see an outcome. 

“I started teaching the women’s self-defense class in 2000, and that’s been such an awesome experience for me to be able to teach and see how rewarding it is to make a difference in people’s lives,” Ballou said.

Ballou said he believes the R.A.D. courses have made a significant impact while at Marshall. 

“I will say that it’s the best decision this department ever made, and I tell our chief that,” he said. “I told him I wasn’t going anywhere and that I wanted to teach and that I had a goal in mind. The rewarding experience I get from making a difference in women’s lives from teaching that self-defense program, that’s one of the best things about coming to work every day.” 

Ballou credits his personal experience for wanting to work at Marshall.

“Being a student athlete here, you know being a student, I just got to know a lot of people,” Ballou said. “Throughout the university, it was the first police department that gave me a job. It was something special from the start. It’s an awesome thing for me to still be involved with the student athletes, anything from women to men’s sports. That’s one of the reasons why I stayed here all these years, I’ve been able to be around and meet some really awesome people.”

Ballou said he sees himself in his son and daughter and that inspires him day to day.  

“He (Ballou’s son) is just like I was, and my daughter too, but my son is so involved in sports and it’s exciting for me to have him enjoy sports like I did,” Ballou said. “That’s what inspires me is seeing him and my daughter enjoy sports the way I did as a kid.”

Ballou said he was not a big “rewards guy” but has two favorite personal achievements, one hitting close to home for multiple Marshall students.

“I’m in the Daytona Beach baseball hall of fame, that was kind of cool,” Ballou said. “I also got an award back in 2015, it was a national award for the R.A.D. program that I teach. It was the aggressor award which is for instructor of the year, and there’s thousands of instructors, so to be recognized for that was cool.”

Ballou said he has learned quite a bit while at Marshall, including the reality of not being able to solve every issue the department may encounter. 

“You’re not going to save the world, no matter what you do,” Ballou said. “I learned that I want to be the best person for the job that I’m doing. When an officer is talking to another officer, I want them to say man that dude was a good officer. I want to do the best job that I can, no matter the situation.”

Communication and dealing with people are some qualities that Ballou said he would consider his strengths of working with MUPD.

“I feel like I’m pretty comfortable dealing with people, it’s something that I enjoy doing,” Ballou said. “Even if it’s during an arrest or something, I still feel like I can help that person some way. Communication comes pretty easy for me, just like public speaking.”

Ballou also spoke of how he thinks Marshall’s police department is working to improve themselves for the sake of the people they protect.  

“This department is growing, everybody at this department has a goal,” Ballou said. “They want to be of great representation for the university. They all want what’s best for the university, we’re different than a regular city department because we have one goal and that’s the safety of the campus, students, faculty and staff as well as visitors.”

Robert Castillo can be contacted at [email protected]