Rapid City Police Department

Pennington Law Enforcement Uses Two New Drones

Dec 12, 2019
Chynna Lockett

  Law Enforcement officers in Pennington County now have access to two new drones. Departments will share the tools using specific FAA guidelines.  


Officers take turns sending a sleek drone into the sky. They use a large remote control and watch as a screen displays its surroundings. Officers are calling this tool their ‘eye in the sky’.  

Dustin Morrison is the Special Operations Lieutenant for the Pennington County Sheriff's Office. He says they need to learn the rules of operation.


The Rapid City Police Department is moving into an investigation phase of a report of shots fired around 9:15 on Tuesday morning.

The incident occurred on the 800 block of Fifth street, just south east of downtown. Officials confirm one shot was fired and involves two groups of juveniles.

A spokesperson with the Rapid City police says a large number of individuals have been detained as part of an investigation into a shots fired call.

The incident involves two groups of juveniles. One group was in a home along Fifth street.

RCPD Respond To Active Shooter Call At Mall

Oct 21, 2019

Every available police officer responded to an active shooter report at the Rushmore Mall in Rapid City yesterday/Sunday. The mall went into lockdown after a man in a mask reportedly threatened to shoot people in the parking lot. Brendyn Medina is the community relations officer for the police department. He says the suspect didn’t have a gun, but he did have a warrant out for his arrest and was in possession of a controlled substance. 

RCPD Pursuit Ends In Crash And Arrest

Sep 23, 2019

The Rapid City Police Department attempted to pull over a vehicle for a license plate violation this weekend. The incident turned into a pursuit, ending with a car crash and arrest. 

Brendyn Medina is the Community Relations Specialist for the Rapid City Police Department. He says Robert Whiteplune was driving on the north side of Rapid City around 2 a.m.. An officer attempted to pull him over for driving without a properly illuminated license plate. 

Youth Voices in Prevention Teams With RCPD For Mural

Aug 30, 2019

A youth group in Rapid City teamed up with the police department for a new mural in Art Alley. The group is called Youth Voices in Prevention, or V.I.P.. It teaches prevention tactics for issues like sexual and dating violence, gang affiliation and suicide. The program helps create support systems and give kids positive outlets. 

There are about 2,000 kids enrolled in VIP. Eighth through 12th graders choose from a wide array of activities geared towards prevention. A group of kids interested in art decided on a mural to get that message across. 

RCPD Responds To Road Rage Firearm Incident

Jul 9, 2019

Rapid City police responded to a road rage incident involving a firearm Monday afternoon. The victim says a man pulled up next to their vehicle after exiting a one lane construction zone on I-90, then pointed a gun at them. Rapid City Police Department spokesperson, Brendyn Medina says police followed up on the report, searching for the driver. 


Lee Strubinger

In The Moment ... June 20, 2019 Show 600 Hour 1

It was a case that captivated South Dakotans as it capitalized on the science of forensic geneaology to solve a 1968 cold case murder.

Retired detective Wayne Keefe made history and brought closure to a victim's family in solving a five decade old murder case in Rapid City. Keefe has been working on the case on a part-time basis since 2016 and has interviewed over 100 people. He discusses the several factors that went into directing them to Eugene Carroll Field as the suspect.

1968 Murder Solved Through Forensic Testing

Jun 17, 2019

The Rapid City Police Department has solved its first cold case using forensic genealogy testing. The 1968 murder of Gwen Miller remained a mystery for years, but new information has brought the family closure.


“Dear Aunt Gwen, it’s been a long time.”

Gwen Miller’s niece shares memories passed down through generations.


Healing Circle Follows Racist Graffiti

Jun 3, 2019

Graffiti reading “no Indians”, “whites only” and displaying swastikas was discovered in a public playground in Rapid City over the weekend. Vicki Powers Park is located near Lakota Homes, an area of the city where there is a high Native population. Community members held a healing circle to make the park feel safe again.

A prayer and healing event was lead by several community members, including Amy Sazue. She says when photos of the graffiti started circulating on social media, people reacted with outrage and anger.

People who face mental health challenges can struggle with a range of conditions and symptoms. Thoughts of suicide can be a factor for some, regardless of age, race or profession. The Front Porch Coalition in Rapid City trains people and organizations on how to help prevent suicide and recognize when people are suffering a mental health crisis.

Pennington County Sheriff

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Department is one of few law enforcement agencies in the nation with a full-time clinical psychologist on staff. Dr. Roger Belisle is in his first month on the job, and he plans to bring something new to his position. 

RCPD Say Shooting Suspect Is In Custody

Mar 29, 2018


Rapid City police are investigating a shooting that occurred Wednesday night east of downtown.

Officers say four victims are being treated for gunshot injuries.

Late this morning, officers say they have the suspect under custody.

Police have arrested 28-year-old Dwight Quigley of Rapid City for four counts of attempted murder. Officers were dispatched to the 200 block of Columbus Street around 9:45 pm after a report of gunshots.

In the Moment ... February 12, 2018 Show 275 Hour 2

When Connie Red Nest and Ernie Evans were found dead under a bridge in Rapid City last week (they had presumably died of hypothermia) a community mourned.

But it's a community divided by the ongoing challenge of homelessness and, furthermore, by the elusive solutions. As temperatures drop, some members of the Rapid City community have banded together to provide warming centers for people with no place to go.

In The Moment ... January 9, 2018 Show 252 Hour 2

The Rapid City Police Department, working in conjunction with Rapid City Collective Impact, has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The funds are slated for the development of a Rapid City Police Department Quality of Life Unit.

We welcome RCPD Assistant Chief Don Hedrick.

RCPD Seeking Public Input On Body Camera Policy

Dec 7, 2017
Rapid City Police Department

The Rapid City Police department is seeking public input on its proposed body worn camera policy.

The RCPD and Pennington County Sheriff’s department were awarded at $300,000 matching grant to implement the program.

The five page policy report takes about ten minutes to read.

It’s the culmination of 5 years of research into implementing a body worn camera policy for Rapid City and Pennington County law enforcement.

Jennie Clabo is the technology and records manager with Rapid City police.

Rapid City Police Department

Police officers for both the Pennington County Sheriff's Office and Rapid City Police Department will soon start wear body cameras.

The two departments were awarded a $300,000 matching grant by the US Department of Justice.

Both the Rapid City Police Department and Pennington County Sheriff’s Office applied for a grant to purchase body-worn cameras for all officers and deputies on patrol.

The departments were considering body cameras for the last five years. Prior to the grant, the Rapid City Police Department’s Community Advisory Committee endorsed the decision.

Rapid City Police Department

Law enforcement officials in Rapid City say a local woman who was last seen in October 2016 is most likely deceased.

The Rapid City Police Department is offering a $5,000 reward for information regarding the disappearance of 21-year-old Larissa Lonehill.

At a press conference April 11, Larissa Lonehill's mother, Lisa, pleaded for the public’s help in finding her daughter.

RCPD Seeks Help In Solving Kidnapping Case

Dec 15, 2016
Rapid City Police Department

The Rapid City Police Department is investigating the kidnapping of two adult male subjects by two unknown males.

On Saturday, December third, the two victims were exiting a gas station on the North Side of Rapid City, when police say they were threatened with guns by the subjects who got into the backseat of the victims vehicle. RCPD say the two subjects ordered the driver to head north.

Rapid City Police Department

UPDATE:   A criminal charge against a SkyWest Airlines pilot accused of being under the influence of alcohol before a flight at a South Dakota airport has been dismissed.

The Pennington County State's Attorney’s office filed for dismissal of the case because blood drawn from the pilot hours after a preliminary breath test showed no measurable alcohol in his system.

Rapid City Police Department

So far, the data shows South Dakota has largely been immune to the opioid drug abuse epidemic affecting other areas of the country.  In 2014, only one death resulted from a heroin overdose in the state.

Now, law enforcement officials in Rapid City and Sioux Falls are reporting an increase in heroin and other opioid drug use.  Since the start of 2016, at least ten South Dakotans have died from opioid overdoses.

Meth, according to Sgt. Dale McCabe, is a drug without barriers. McCabe has worked with the Rapid City Police Department since 1990, overseeing all violent crime cases the past eight years. Rapid City has seen a record number of homicide and violent crime cases in 2015, directly connected with increased illegal drug use. McCabe joined Dakota Midday to discuss meth, criminal justice reform, and how to the cycle of meth addiction and crime through deterrence, education and prevention.

Charles Michael Ray

The shootings in Dallas where 5 police officers died and many others were injured have sparked conversations about tension between citizens and law enforcement. What does it all mean for South Dakota?

Dakota Midday is joined by Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris, community advisory board member Vaughn Vargas and Officer Tim Doyle. Doyle was severely injured after responding to a routine call of people drinking alcohol in a park. Two of Doyle’s fellow officers were killed in the shooting.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

People who don’t pay attention while driving in Sioux Falls are now more likely to be pulled over. City officials are teaming up with the police department on a campaign to curb distracted driving. State law bans texting while behind the wheel across South Dakota. Now Sioux Falls leaders are looking beyond cell phones.

Police Urge Sober Driving During Holidays

Dec 31, 2015
Rapid City Police Department

Law enforcement reminds people around the state to drive sober as 2015 comes to an end.

So far this year Rapid City has had 870 driving under the influence arrests.  Brendyn Medina is the Public Information Officer for the Rapid City Police Department. He says the number of DUIs per year tend to fluctuate.

Photo by Victoria Wicks

A researcher from USD spent 18 months studying dynamics between the Rapid City Police Department and indigenous community members. Tuesday night he presented his findings to a full auditorium of city residents. Results show that the Native population is larger than census figures would have it, and there are arrest factors that have skewed the statistics.

Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris began his career in 1995 as a patrol officer.  He worked his way through various positions and on June 23, 2014 he was sworn in as Chief of Police.  Chief Jegeris holds a bachelor's degree in law enforcement from Mankato State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns began his career with the department in July of 1996.  He served as a Patrol Officer, Fraud Detective, Patrol Sergeant, and Assistant Chief. He took over last month as Chief of Police. 

Victoria Wicks

The Rapid City Police Department now has a cultural advisor on staff to research issues and develop ways of addressing them. Twenty-nine-year-old Vaughn Vargas is now in the process of working with the community to identify an advisory committee to help the PD in navigating race relations.

South Dakotans Continue To Drink And Drive

Jan 18, 2015
Amy Varland

Despite sobriety checkpoints, anti-drinking and driving campaigns, and hundreds of alcohol-related fatalities, law enforcement officials say people in the state continue to operate motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.

Officials say planning ahead can help keep South Dakota roads safe and help motorists keep their driving records clean.


30-year-old Alan Locke was fatally shot by Rapid City police officer Anthony Meirose over the weekend. Police reports indicate that Locke came at the officer with a knife. SDPB’s Amy Varland looks at what protocol officers follow after being involved in a shooting.

Police Officer Uses Lethal Force In Rapid City

Dec 23, 2014

30 year-old Allen Locke was shot by Rapid City Police Officer Anthony Meirose over the weekend.
Police reports say Locke had a knife and charged at the officer.
Rapid City Police Captain Dan Rud says law enforcement officers use many manners of force throughout their careers including tackling fleeing suspects and tazing some that are resisting arrest.
But he says Rapid City police officers are instructed to use lethal force only if their life or the life of a third party is in jeopardy.