Larive named new Lead-Deadwood school resource officer

Returning to his roots, the new Lead-Deadwood High School Resource Officer Andy Larive is a 2002 Lead-Deadwood High School graduate. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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LEAD — The Lead-Deadwood School District saw a familiar face when it welcomed its new school resource officer

Andy Larive, of the Deadwood Police Department, has been tapped to fill the bill at Lead-Deadwood Middle and High schools, following the retirement of long-time school resource officer Kip Mau at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Deadwood Police Chief Ken Mertens said he asked Larive to take the reins because he is the best person for the job.

“He graduated from Lead High School, so he’s coming home. He knows the high school,” Mertens said. “He’s going to enjoy the hours. You’re off the street. For nine months, you’re doing school stuff. For people who have small kids at home, you want to get home as much as you can and this is a perfect fit to have day shift. You have to go to a lot of school events, obviously, but, for the most part, you will be home at the regular time, like normal people are.”

Larive has served on the Deadwood police force since April 17, 2013 and he possesses the skills it takes to succeed at the job.

“He’s a great communicator. He’s level-headed. You have to have somebody that’s going to be able to talk to everybody they deal with. Because you’ve got to deal with kids and administrators. You’ve got to be able to communicate effectively with both groups,” Mertens said.

Larive, who now lives in Rapid City, said he grew up in Lead and graduated from the Lead-Deadwood High School in 2002. 

“I was involved with all kinds of sports – soccer, baseball, basketball, and football. And I did that through each one of my school years that I could,” Larive said. “I’ve pretty much been around this area my whole life. I moved away for about a year and a half and ended up moving back.”

Larive said he was approached regarding the opening SRO position just prior to the end of the school year and thought filling the position and serving school district would be a good idea.

“I always knew it would be a good spot for me, because of family life, get to be home every night, weekends off, and more time with them,” Larive said. “It’s gone pretty good so far.”

Larive said in his capacity as an SRO, law enforcement is largely what he is responsible for.

“When I’m here, I’m a police officer. I will do law enforcement side of things when necessary,” he said. “Obviously I’ll help out where and when I can with other school type stuff. I’ll be around for games – football, basketball, volleyball.”

Larive said the variety that surrounds law enforcement is what appeals to him the most.

“There’s always something different,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen. It’s kind of an excitement type of thing. One minute you could be talking with somebody about their cat in a tree and the next minute you could be dealing with a fight down on Main Street. There’s a big, broad number of events that happen and I think it’s kind of the excitement that goes with it. Obviously, I’m a people person, so I like to help people, see people happy, and I try to do what I can for somebody else.”

What appeals most to him about the SRO position is the opportunity to help people.

“If I can help a kid out or they just need somebody to talk to, I’m easy to talk to,” Larive said. “I think that’s a good quality to have for this position.”

What appeals to Larive most about the Lead-Deadwood community is family.

“Definitely. The small-town scene is awesome and I grew up here, so this has always been home,” he said. “For me, just coming back in the school the last few days has been kind of weird and strange, seeing all the familiar stuff and all the stuff that’s even changed, it’s just fun. It’s just good being here.”

Larive has been married for just over three years to Nichole, who just started a job with the Pennington County Crisis Center. The couple have a 3-year-old daughter named Aislinn, a 12-year-old son named Brecken and a pet rabbit named Smokey.

Larive serves as an assistant scout master for Troop #7 in Rapid City and is also a Rapid City YMCA and Rapid City Club for Boys volunteer.

“I’m excited for the school year,” he said. “This is a different challenge in my life and my career and I’m looking forward to it.”

Lead-Deadwood High School Principal Mark Jacobs said school district officials are excited to have Officer Larive become part of the Digger family. 

“When you have someone retire after 17 years (Mau) there is going to be an adjustment period but Officer Larive has been extremely proactive throughout the middle and high school buildings to start the school year,” Jacobs said. “He has shown an excitement to work with both our students and the staff in a variety of ways while understanding that a large part of this position is about building positive relationships and being a support system for our students. Officer Larive’s hands-on approach will serve him well as he transitions into his new role and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Deadwood Police Department.”

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