Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Appreciation For Law Enforcement

Appreciation For Law Enforcement
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

We are fortunate to live in a relatively safe state. We tend to leave our cars running in the winter; we let our kids play outside; and, in some places, people lock their car doors not worrying about theft, but because they don’t want their neighbors leaving them any more zucchini.

It’s true that less populated places tend to be safer, but our public safety is not owed solely to our rural nature. It is also thanks to our law enforcement.

Those who enforce our laws live selfless lives. They’re courageous, hardworking and dedicated individuals. They work long hours and willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect South Dakotans. They don’t simply serve to reprimand those who don’t follow the law, but to help those in need. State troopers will often stop to help someone change a flat tire. They come to the rescue when someone is stranded on the road during a blizzard. Police officers and deputy sheriffs lead the processionals for local funerals and they support their communities when disaster strikes. Our state, local and tribal law enforcement officers are critically important to our communities, and they deserve our appreciation.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to the families of law enforcement officers. These families also make sacrifices. They must adjust to overtime, odd hours and emergencies. They patiently endure as their loved ones risk their lives to keep us safe. They assume brave faces even as they worry whether their spouse or parent will come home safe and sound.

It’s easy to forget that our safe South Dakota is not the norm. There are many places in the world today where people live in chaos because laws are not enforced – where people face daily uncertainty over whether they’ll be able to protect themselves and their families.

Because of the men and women who enforce our laws South Dakota is not one of those places and we are able to live in a safe and free society.

To all of our state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers and their families, thank you for keeping us safe. Though we probably don’t show it nearly enough, South Dakotans are grateful for your service.