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Pennington County Sheriff’s Office sees increase in out of state applicants

Published: May. 8, 2021 at 3:46 PM MDT|Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 3:47 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - In October of 2020, Governor Kristi Noem welcomed law enforcement from around the country to make their new home in South Dakota.

“Several months ago when we saw riots and protests all across the country in different cities, I made the decision to do a national advertising campaign for law enforcement officers,” says Noem. “I told law enforcement officers that if they wanted to come to South Dakota and apply for a position here in a state that loved them and appreciated them and they wanted to live somewhere they could be safe then we would welcome them.”

And one month later, Steph McCoy from the Pennington County Sheriffs Office says she started to see an increase in out of state applicants.

“Our applicant pool has certainly changed in the last six months, notably in November of last year we’ve really seen an influx of interest from out of state,” says McCoy.

The Sheriffs Office has seen applicants from 21 different states, taking up 36% of their current pool of active applicants.

“To do this job you have to not only want to do it, but want to live in the community that you serve,” says McCoy. “So the best people that I visit with from out of state have already vacationed here, or they have family members who currently live here that are encouraging them to come back, or they served at Ellsworth Air Force Base and they’re like I liked it when I was there in the service and I want to return and serve my community in a different capacity.”

McCoy says people she’s talked to are looking for a change in their quality of life, a good place to raise a family, and fewer external stressors.

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