Spearfish is not a hotbed of activity when it comes to violent crimes, yet in recent months we’ve seen two bank robberies and two armed robberies of convenience stores.

Although our law enforcement officers do not see these violent crimes often, they acted swiftly, and in each case the alleged perpetrators were arrested in short order thanks to tips from the public and media, and through the course of the investigations. In the case of the two bank robberies, the suspects were arrested the same day as the alleged crime. That’s a pretty great crime-solving rate.

Our hats are off to the Spearfish Police Department and all law enforcement officers for their service and dedication to our community and residents.

Law enforcement officers are tasked to protect and serve; to protect the residents and the community from those who choose to commit nefarious acts; to protect those involved in fires or automobile accidents; and to protect our property from disasters, both natural and man made. They responded to domestic disputes, to drug enforcement incidents and they are on hand to provide security at public events.

But the second part of their job is to serve.

They serve as counselors to those in need of a shoulder to cry on; they serve as role models to many; and as a wake-up call to some. They provide escorts to funeral processions and head into the classrooms to visit with our children and teach DARE classes.

To some in our community, law enforcement officers are seen only as a nuisance in their lives, but if those people are wronged by others, they are also likely the first ones calling for the police.

Law enforcement officers have a tough job, a dangerous job. A job that takes them away from their families for extended hours, not only on their daily shift, but in times they may be called for extra duty. Consider this. A police officer who works the night shift gets off duty in the morning; however, a court case in which he is involved in is session that morning. The officer heads to the courthouse, waits to be called by attorneys and only then can he go home for a few hours rest before heading back out on duty. The job involves much more than just the car patrolling the public sees on a daily basis.

So next time you have a chance to visit with a police officer, thank them.

Thank them for their service. After all, the next person they may protect and serve is you.

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