South Dakots are getting their first African-American sheriff in the past few weeks, and it’s not an easy one to get.
But he’s not your run-of-the-mill sheriff.
In fact, he’s the first black sheriff in Texas history, and he’s expected to make an impact in his new role as a judge and public defender.
“I think it’s an opportunity for all of us to get to know each other better,” said Brian Burdette, the sheriff’s chief of staff.
“And to get a sense of the different backgrounds that are going into it, how to be effective, how we can be a bridge between different communities.”
Burdette said the sheriff, who was appointed to the position on July 31, will work with the community, helping with outreach to minority communities, criminal justice, law enforcement and the judicial system.
He will also focus on public safety.
He said he’s looking forward to getting to know the people of the South Dakoteans better.
Burbette said he expects the new sheriff to take some time off, but that the job will be a challenging one.
“We’re going to have to be very professional and very efficient,” he said.
“But I think we can have a very successful and positive future for South Dakotes.”
The move comes as a wave of high-profile resignations and resignations from the South Dakota Public Safety Department, including Chief Deputy Steve Wray, Deputy Chief of Staff Keith Cottrell and Chief of Police John Cottrill.
The department has also been rocked by a scandal involving a former chief of police, and a series of shootings and deaths of people suspected of involvement in the drug trade.
Burdine said his deputies will be there to keep order in a divided South Dakota, and they’re prepared to make tough decisions in cases that don’t meet the department’s standards.
Kudos to the new law enforcement officer who has stepped up to take charge in a very hostile environment.
This is a tough day for law enforcement, he said, and we all need to put our heads together and look forward.
“The sheriff’s department is a proud and proud institution, and the people in this department are doing a fantastic job,” he added.
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety said it will continue to focus on ensuring that the safety and security of its residents and visitors is the highest priority.
KHNL-TV and KVUE-TV, which is owned by The Associated Press, reported that the new Sheriff will be in South Dakota on Monday, May 16, when he will begin his tenure. Read more