Centralia Police Employee of the Year
The Centralia Police Department has selected Connie Ballantini as their 2020 Employee of the Year. Each year the Centralia Chief of Police sends out an email asking everyone to vote for employee of the year, and he makes his decision based on that input.
Ballantini said, “While I am honored to be chosen, I can’t even begin to do what these officers and dispatchers do. They do the hard stuff. I am so proud of how dedicated they are to this community. I just try to help any way I can.”
Ballantini grew up in Salem and moved to Centralia when she got married in 1982. She has two daughters and four grandchildren.
Ballantini began working as Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police following the retirement of Mary Ann Norton in January of 2000. She says she was one of the youngest employees when she started in 2000 and is now the oldest. How did she last so long here? Ballantini said, “It all boils down to the fact that I have loved my job every single day. All previous and current employees have treated me kindly and appreciated me every single day. I definitely didn’t need an award to feel valued here.”
Ballantini’s contact with officers starts the day they are hired. She takes care of working with the Fire and Police Commission to complete the pre-employment and hiring process. She then prepares them for the academy and takes care of getting them all the equipment they need during training.
In addition to the hiring process, Ballantini also does payroll, orders equipment, processes billing, and assists the Chief of Police with his administrative duties. “Basically, anything I’m asked to do on a daily basis,” she said.
Ballantini said, “I have worked alongside five Chiefs of Police, many retired officers, current officers, dispatchers and civilian employees, and have enjoyed knowing their wives, husbands, and watching their kids grow up. We are like a big family here.”