Long-time Ames Police Chief Dennis Ballantine is hanging up his badge for a new job in politics. Ballantine’s has been appointed to fill the remaining term of Story County Supervisor Fred Mathison. Mathison died earlier this month from injuries suffered in a car accident. Ballantine has been a police officer in Ames for 33 years — 17 of those as chief. He says retiring from the force wasn’t an easy decision.Ballantine has been a visible figure statewide with such high profile cases as the I-S-U Veishea riots, the robbery of a Burger King by I-S-U athletes and the murder/decapitation of a young woman. Ballantine says while those cases generated a lot of news, overall it has been a great job and a great community to work in.Ballantine’s challenge now is to move from serving a single city to the whole county.He says it will also be a switch to go from a non-political job to an elected office. The unexpired term is 22 months and Ballantine says he hasn’t decided if he will run for a full term after that.Ballantine, a Republican, was appointed by a three-member board of county elected officials.
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