Mission 22 takes its mission to the Sturgis Police Department

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 7:31 PM MDT
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STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - On Friday the Sturgis Police Department unveiled its new Mission 22 patrol car.

On average, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Mission 22 is designed to provide treatment programs for veterans with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, or other struggles they might be facing.

“I had gotten a call from one of the Sturgis officers about a veteran who was struggling on the side of the highway. The chief wanted to do something more for the community, get more involved, and had wanted a vehicle wrapped after he’d seen the Rapid City Police Department vehicle,” said Chris Cooper, Mission 22 region leader.

Sturgis chief of police, Geody Vanderwater says Sturgis is a veteran town, and the motorcycle rally brings in even more veterans. Vanderwater wants to help educate the public while supporting struggling veterans

“There’s been multiple times, multiple occasions where I’ve come across veterans and they don’t necessarily like police officers they’ve had bad run-ins with them. Chris gets resources he’LL show up to the call, by the time that call is done, veterans have a different view on police officers,” said Teal Schmidt, a Sturgis patrol officer.

Cooper is a veteran himself and says if he were to give any advice to veterans, it would be ‘you are not alone.’

“It’s really important because it kind of shows that bond between the community and the police department. It shows veterans that they are not alone, they do have people out there who care about them and want to help them,” Cooper continued.

Vanderwater went on to say this car is more than just a wrap. He said this is about building relationships, and hopefully, this wrap will open doors to questions and conversations about Mission 22.

Cooper says that if there is a veteran in need of help, reach out via Mission 22′s website, or contact Cooper directly through his email at chris@mission22.com or call or text him at (605)858-8482.