Changes to City Police Force
Council accepts two resignations; quonsets sold for removal
Flandreau City officials are weighing what the future of the Flandreau City Police Department might look like both with the departure of two officers and conversations rising again about the possibility of re-combining City and Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal Police Departments..
Elijah Rupe, who had been the City’s K-9 officer, and Taylor White, a Flandreau native who had been with the Department since an internship in High School, both turned in their resignations in recent weeks. Rupe has accepted a Deputy position with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department. White was approved to join the City of Tea’s Police Department at a meeting this past week.
City Administrator Cohl Turnquist said that the City has been interviewing one candidate. If all goes well, he most likely will be hired at the Council’s next meeting on the 20th.
“The process of recruiting and selecting a police officer requires a significant amount of diligence and Chief Weber and myself are doing all we can to ensure we get the right fit for our community and for our department,” he added.
Whether or not to replace a second officer is still a conversation being had, especially as talks surface about the possibility of rejoining City and Tribal forces. Flandreau had, at one time, one of the only Joint Powers agreements between a Tribal and non-Tribal entity in the nation.
The possibility of reestablishing the Police Commission is being explored.
The Flandreau City Council also this past week, approved the hire of Emma Peters as the Summer Rec Director. Peters will replace Josh Edlund who had filled the role for the past four years.
Councilmembers also approved the only sealed bids for the removal of the storage building and quonset hut on the south end of the downtown block that will be home to the city’s new fire station.
The bids, both from Charles Erickson, were for $50 each to remove and salvage the materials for both structures. Turnquist said that while the bids might have seemed small, Erickson would be saving the city an incredible amount of time, resources and upwards of $10,000 - $20,000 to remove and haul both buildings away.
The week of March 20th is the tentative demolition date scheduled for the old grain elevator on the southwest end of the lot.