The Vibrant person today is James Ballard!
If you were to call most any cop an “iron butt” the best response you might hope for is a dirty look. Say that to Officer James Ballard of the Elkhart City Police and he would probably thank you for acknowledging his accomplishments. You see, Jim is a member in good standing of the Iron Butt Association. This is a bunch of motorcycle fanatics from around the world who have met the standard of biking 1,000 miles in 24 hours.
As with many things in his life, Jim took the 1,000-mile challenge a step further. He rode 1,500 miles in just 24 and a half hours. Jim just likes to… no, make that, really loves to ride.
In addition to the long-haul rides, Jim is out and about on area roads every chance he gets. He is President of the local chapter of the Blue Knights. The Knights are an international organization of law enforcement bikers. They raise money for charity and share their passion for riding.
Professionally, Jim has been assigned to patrol the streets of downtown Elkhart. He does that with aplomb. He is known by many who work and live there and recognized by most. He takes pride in what he does and strives to build one-to-one relationships with those he meets. “Most people know me as Jim Ballard who happens to be a police officer,” he says. That’s the way he likes it.
Jim is very active in the community. His efforts to raise funds and provide support for veterans, the elderly and those who are homeless have been well recognized and are very much appreciated.
Jim has an adult son and step-daughter. Sean Ballard is a Sergeant at the Elkhart County Jail. Stepdaughter Zoe lives in Seattle where she works in IT at Starbucks’ corporate headquarters. Jim and his wife, Mary Anne have a home on Simonton Lake. They have two grandchildren, Liam and Quinlan.
We asked Jim if there was the bike of his dreams. “I already have it,” he told us. It is a green, customized Harley Davidson he has named “The Angry Leprechaun.” Ride on, Jim.