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State emergency training course renovated

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South Dakota’s emergency vehicle training course in Pierre was repaved after a $2.4 million allocation from the state legislature.

The three-mile course is used to train law enforcement and other emergency providers in the state.

Hank Primm is State Law Enforcement Training Administrator at the Department of Criminal Investigations.

“Every police officer in the state of South Dakota, whether they work for a small-town police department, or a big city police department, or sheriff's office or state law enforcement agency or everywhere in between, have to attend our basic academy,” Prim said. “They complete training and emergency vehicle operations, as well as traffic stops and situations involving vehicles."

Primm said the course is about 20 years old.

“Over the course of those 20 years of wear and tear and use, the course frankly just fell into disrepair.” he said. “There's a lot of roadway damage. The road itself just caused a litany of issues as far as training goes, with potholes and not-suitable road surfaces.”

The resurfacing project involved several state agencies, including the state Attorney General’s Office, Department of Transportation and Department of Public safety.

“I think the fact that state government was able to come together in this multi-agency approach… really shows the state's commitment to ensuring that police officers from the smallest town to the biggest city have top-quality training in safe and quality facilities,” Primm said. “That's really important for our officers, to be able to get the best training possible. And that starts with having the right place for them to learn and the right place for them to train."

Slater Dixon is a junior at Augustana University studying Government and Data Science. He was born in Sioux Falls and is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.