The Mobridge City Council, Tuesday, April 9, approved the hiring of an additional full-time police officer for the Mobridge Police Department.
Police Chief Shawn Madison told the council his department is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. T0here are times when there is only one officer on duty with multiple situations in need of attention. There are two officers on duty for about six hours a day.
“Officer safety is the number one reason for needing another officer,” he told the council. “Lately we have been unable to send our officers to the training as is needed. Even if its held in Mobridge, officers still have to work their shifts after the training.”
Madison said after several meetings, it was the recommendation of the law enforcement committee to hire another full-time officer. He told the council the crime rate has inched up because of the methamphetamine situation and more serious crimes are the result. He said alcohol problems have always been an issue for the department and along with that come other crimes such as assaults.
The department has also absorbed the nuisance animal calls that former ordinance officer Cindy Rische dealt with. He said in the first three months of 2019, there were 92 animal related calls for service.
Madison told the council with the number of officers now working in the department, sick leave, vacation and training time is tough to cover.
Last month several officers were ill for a couple of days at the same time an officer had taken vacation time. This put a lot of stress on the officers left to cover the shifts, and overtime paid.
He said adding an officer would allow the department to deal with ordinance issues also.
Councilman Tony Yellow Boy, joining the meeting by phone asked if Madison had the money in his budget to pay for an officer.
Madison told the council there was $28,000 left from the former ordinance officers salary and with not having to pay overtime to other officers, there would be funding for a new officer.
The council approved adding another officer to the MPD and for advertising to fill that position.
In other business the Mobridge City Council:
• Approved setting up a separate bank account for the MPD’s K9 Drug Detection Unit. Madison and K9 Officer Nate Pepin would be the signatures on that account which would be funds for that unit only.
• Heard Mobridge Fire Chief Doug DeLaRoi report the fire department is moving forward with training and had a controlled burning building training in Wakpala two weeks ago. He said while the department was in Wakpala, they conducted a water rescue for a family dealing with high water issues. DeLaRoi told the council, there are currently 11 firefighters taking firefighter 1 training and would be taking their first practical tests in two weeks.
• Approved the following seasonal parks department employees: Wyatt Bieber at $13.25 per hour; Nathan Ford at $13.25 per hour; Lloyd Blom at $13.00 per hour; Tyler Blankartz at $10.50 per hour; Carson Quenzer at $10.50 per hour; and Logan Vojta at $10.50 per hour.
• Approved a retail malt beverage, wine and cider license for the Family Dollar Store.
• Approve temporary retail liquor and malt beverage licenses to the following organizations: Mobridge Area Chamber of Commerce at Scherr-Howe Event Center June 7 and 8; Mobridge Rodeo Association, Scherr-Howe Event Center on June 29; Mobridge Rodeo Association, Mobridge Rodeo Grounds, July 2, 3 and 4; Mobridge Rodeo Association, Mobridge Rodeo Grounds Aug. 3.
8 Approved receiving federal funding for the Mobridge Regional Airport runway rehabilitation project starting in May.
• Approved a chip seal bid from Jensen Rock and Sand, Inc., at $1.60 per square yard. That is up 17 cents from last year due to the rising oil prices.
• Heard Mayor Gene Cox report there is a landmark tree in the Mobridge City Park. The Northern Catalpa tree is more than 55 feet tall and is estimated to be 75 years old. It may have been planted around the tie the park was established in the city.
– Katie Zerr –