Acting skills help police liaison mentor teens
Jason Batalden, Village of Northbrook Police Dept. Internal Services administrator, is also liaison to the Northbrook Youth Commission. | Karie Angell Luc~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 19, 2013 11:54AM
NORTHBROOK — Jason Batalden, Internal Services administrator for the Village of Northbrook Police Dept. is one heckuva guy, say the students of the Northbrook Youth Commission, who look up to him as liaison.
Batalden, with his theatrical skills, is a natural fit mentoring teenage volunteer commission members.
Batalden started in 1999 as an intern for the village manager’s office. He worked in the Finance Dept. for 13 years before segueing to his new Police Dept. gig. He lives in Schaumburg with his wife and three elementary school-aged children.
Q: Jason, you’ve a natural as an emcee at village functions. Are you an actor at heart?
A: While I have dabbled in community and college theater, I wouldn’t exactly say that I am an actor. I do, however, thoroughly enjoy being in front of people with the hope of entertaining them. Is that the same thing? Growing up, I did participate in a few seasons of the Optimist International Youth Oratorical Contest. I think that is where I caught the bug.
Q: Describe your role as Police Dept. Internal Services administrator.
A: I’ll be doing whatever I can to help them maintain their highly regarded reputation. More specifically, I’ll be supporting the finance, budgeting, purchasing, human resources, and various administrative functions. One day, I’ll ask Chief Wernick if I can flash the lights and sound the sirens.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: As frustrating as it is, I am a life-long Cubs fan. Thanks, Grandma! Though, there isn’t much better than a good Bears football game in the fall.
Q: Are you a summer or winter person?
A: Can I choose fall?
Q: Any special Northbrook memories?
A: I have to say that the village’s Student Government Day is one of my favorite events of the year. Not only do I get to act as the village curmudgeon, I get to watch some of our junior high students showcase their political role-playing abilities as well as their astute problem-solving skills. It’s interesting to watch them wrap their minds around real-life issues, take into consideration the views of other parties, and come to a decision that will surely ruffle somebody’s feathers — just like real life. It’s also great to watch some of them come out of their shell, as they learn to be comfortable speaking their minds.
Q: The Northbrook Youth Commission Dec. event at Lake Cook Terrace Health & Rehab. The impact?
A: I actually didn’t realize how much it would grab a hold of me. I went to event as the liaison to the Youth Commission, but quickly realized that, job assignment and title aside, I was really there as myself. I have served in similar ways before, but I was refreshed by serving once again in such a simple and direct way — giving to and connecting with people who enjoy a little holiday cheer as much as I do. It was really a great event! Special thanks to my new friends — Dawn, Karen and Yvonne!
Q: What is your New Year’s hope?
A: I would hope and pray that people increase their time spent helping others. It’s cliché, but I don’t think we understand how much we are caught up in things we only think to be important.