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Allender Keeps Blog Content Online, Despite Political Implications

Steve Allender started blogging in July 2011, when he was Rapid City’s police chief. He wrote straightforward, often pointed responses to issues like the October 2013 blizzard response and, after his retirement from the force, marijuana, Fergusonpolice “militarization”, and Rapid City’s December 2014 police shooting.

Then, when Allender launched his campaign for Rapid City mayor this spring, he appears to have deleted his prior blog content. I wasn’t following Allender’s Chiefsview blog closely enough to notice, but a couple of commenters on his campaign Facebook page (where he appears to engage his commenters quite regularly, in his own voice, not through a spokesperson) said the blog had changed and that pre-campaign material had disappeared.

Allender himself responded to one of those delete-complainants, saying last Wednesday, “I am not ashamed of my previous blog – I still have all of the posts. I hope you actually read those posts, because if you did you would know what I really said about the issues.”

I checked over the weekend and this morning, and Allender’s Chiefsview archive appears to be intact and publicly accessible.

I’ve stood for election for local public office thrice. I served in public office for six years as a trustee in the Lake Herman Sanitary District. I’ve thought about the political implications of leaving all of my blog content online where opponents can find plenty of material to provoke controversy and scare off casually attentive voters. But I’ve never hit that delete button. I’m willing to stand by every word I’ve said. As I look at the complete contents of Steve Allender’s blog, I am compelled to express my respect for him for doing the same.

I am curious about one thing: I see that Allender has added a little campaign finance tag—”Paid for by Allender for Mayor 2015″—to the top of Chiefsview. I check the WHOIS record and find the domain was last updated on October 30, 2014. Did the Allender campaign committee even exist at that point to pay for the blog?


  1. Jeff Barth 2015-05-11 17:21


    I very much appreciate your comment,” I’m willing to stand by every word I’ve said. As I look at the complete contents of Steve Allender’s blog, I am compelled to express my respect for him for doing the same.” I agree with you… and I respect you Cory as well.

    It is not always easy to operate an open government. It is a lot easier to make decisions in the back room. I have done and said many things that fall short of the standard I aspire to. Yet I have found that just being a human, just facing the truth is the best way to get through it.

    The denials, the cover-ups, the “revelations”, are worse. Shine the light on yourself, none of us are perfect.

    If the truth would kill me, let me die.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-11 17:35

    “If the truth would kill me, let me die.” I like that formulation, Jeff! We should hear more sincere, profound words like that in public discourse and education.

  3. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-05-11 18:08

    I am willing to give credit to all who stand by their words, with no “walking back”, claims of being misquoted, taken out of context, or “misunderestimated”.

    I agree with Cory, Jeff’s words, “If the truth would kill me, let me die.”, are a perfect description of integrity. Few things are more precious than one’s reputation.

  4. Steve Allender 2015-05-11 18:24

    Cory: Thanks for the article. When I thought there was a chance of politics in my future, I thought it was a good time to ‘re-tool’ the machine. My blog was part of a public information campaign to humanize the position of police chief. I believed it was important to show that I could have opinions, even ones contrary to political correctness, and still perform fairly and objectivity as a public official.

    I “hid” the posts, merely to emphasize my transition from Chief to mayoral candidate. This was too much for the conspiracy theorists and rumors of horrible things I’d written about were worse than the truth. Mayor Kooiker accused me of trying to cover my tracks (insert spy music here) so I “unhid” them. Thanks for noticing.

    I am glad to answer questions about my past posts. Steve

  5. grudznick 2015-05-11 19:25

    Mr. Allender, you seem a swell fellow and I have always liked your blog. I, too, appreciate you leaving your bloggings online.

    I didn’t care for the attempted appointment of that one fellow without taking into account the other fellow when you resigned, but I think you generally did a pretty good job of policing the parts of Rapid City I frequent. Thank you for your service, sir, and good luck in the elections.

  6. Bob Newland 2015-05-11 22:57

    Grudznick, you are a POS.

    As for Allender, read this post:

    Then read Allender’s replies to the comments.

    This man (Allender, that is) is not literate enough to read a commissioners’ report or whatever it is you have to read when you are a mayor. He certainly didn’t read anything prior to commenting on the legalization of attempting to feel better in Colorado.

  7. Bob Newland 2015-05-11 23:00

    Okay, here’s a question, Steve. If allowing people to use cannabis to treat medical conditions is “legalization of criminal behavior,” wasn’t making slavery illegal the “criminalization of legal behavior?”

    I seriously doubt I will see an answer, mainly because I don’t think you will understand the question.

  8. Bob Newland 2015-05-11 23:00

    But maybe you’ll surprise me.

  9. Lynn 2015-05-12 00:02

    Today I read Steve Allender’s two blog posts that were linked regarding Marijuana and am in complete agreement with his stance based on his experience in law enforcement and the data out there.

    Last night I watched CSPAN2 Book TV interview with William Bennett regarding his book “Going to Pot”

    I may not have agreed with William Bennett politically in the past but feel he is spot on and covers many points in his arguments against legalization of pot. He feels that Colorado and other states that voted to legalize will eventually repeal and re-criminalize.

  10. Bill Dithmer 2015-05-12 09:39

    Bennett has an interesting show but his claim on science amounts to wishful thinking. Conceder the fact that his job as drug zar under Bush 1 put more money in more pockets then any single man in history both legal and illegal.

    There isnt a police department in the country that hasnt found a pile of money just for playing the cannabis game. Need a dog? That DEA money will be coming in next week. Maybe we should start a school program to keep kids safe from pot. Well lets just send Officer Dan and Cevrone the wunder dog on down there for a demonstration, that should be good for $50k or so.

    That cost can be seen on the clock that Interested Party has on its site. The amounts seen there are huge, but dont even come close to actual money changing hands.

    Dealer assumed higher risks, but at the same time saw a chance to bump prices to give them more profits.

    Lawyers have a never ending money river just by defending those caught in the middle.

    And last but certainly not least are the three biggest lobbyists other then defense, tobacco, alcahol, and the pharmaceutical companys.

    Bennett knew then, just as he knows now, which side of his bread the butter is on. He’s made a pretty good living selling his brand of crap, I really dont think hes gonna change now.

    His talk about science is horse pucky! If his science was there and weighed so heavily against cannabis, that message would have been shouted from the rooftops instead of whispered in a book. His reference to “a lack of research,” is kind of a joke because his own job was to keep research on pot from happening, in this country. If he had bothered to look, there were many more countries that did do research. Oh thats right he did look, but chose to beleave the only studies allowed in this country at that time, funded by his own DEA.

    Bennett was a poor Secretary of Education, and a worse Drug Zar. What he has cost this nation in money spent and lives lost in his part of the war on drugs cant be calculated and will never be fully realized, but can easily be seen. Full prisons, and more needed, broken families, a fading fourth amendment right that has become worn and soiled because of its misinterpretation, and a populace that is 70% not 60% as Bennett claims in favor of legalization in one form or another.

    It might help to go here for a read about William Bennett.

    The Blindman

  11. tara volesky 2015-05-12 10:12

    I watched Going to Pot with Bill Bennett. I wonder how much the alcohol, tobacco and Pharma lobbyists are paying him.

  12. Lynn 2015-05-12 11:23

    You can either watch the William Bennett book TV interview or read the transcript directly below and do it a few times to catch everything as linked above in my previous reply. What William Bennett covered was fairly comprehensive countering common arguments used for legalization. I’ll check with my local library to see if I can check out his book out “Going to Pot” for more detailed info. Steve Allender’s valuable experience in law enforcement further adds to the real life costs of legalization and I like his idea on how laws can be tweaked regarding this issue which can help save taxpayer money and help treat addiction.

    The Drug War expense clock? This is a great example! Previously I was shocked by how much is spent in what seemed like a losing war remembering the days Reagan was office. William Bennett noted that this is a huge selling point for those who are in favor of the legalization of pot in but for every S1.00 saved by enforcing pot laws there will be a $10.00 expense in social costs in the dumbing, numbing and addiction issues added to society.

    Again there are many good arguments made by Steve Allender in the blog links that Cory and Bob Newland provided above and what William Bennett covered in a 1 hour interview. I look forward to reading the book for more in depth data.

  13. larry kurtz 2015-05-12 11:29

    So much for Pat Duffy’s raising this blog’s IQ ten points.

  14. Curt 2015-05-12 11:29

    I think we’ve drifted off the topic. The point is that Allender holds opinions and attitudes similar to many other cops – and apparently is kind of proud of it. That’s not good for fair and impartial law enforcement, but it’s worse in a Mayor – especially in RC and especially now.
    Not everyone likes Sam Kooiker, but it’s pretty hard to make a case that he’s a racist.

  15. Bill Dithmer 2015-05-12 12:10

    Bennett has always been long on bull—- and short on facts. He is still trying to convince everyone that Iran Contra was a figment of their imagination. Why anyone would value his opinion is beyond logic.

    The Blindman

  16. tara volesky 2015-05-12 12:26

    In Las Vegas they don’t even pick you up for smoking marijuana, they would rather fight crime than waste their time on non-violent citizens.

  17. Lynn 2015-05-12 12:38


    As I’ve stated before there were many positions I did not agree with William Bennett before but I took the time to look beyond that and listened to what he said and it was backed up by fact. He quotes where his sources are from and these are prestigious institutions and not by some partisan group. That’s another reason why I’d like to read his book and delve a little further.

    What Bennett and Allender have stated totally make sense to what I have observed personally in the workplace, casual ,personal relationships and reading crime reports. Look at the far out claims they make even for medicinal besides the supposedly benign recreational use. It immediately raises concerns as to the credibility and motives behind those claims.

    The facts and research seem to go against legalization of pot.

    It looks like we should have two clocks. One being the heavily used war on drugs with the ever increasing dollar amount. The 2nd clock would be basically the same except stating the added social costs from legalizing pot and increase the amount from clock one by 10.

  18. larry kurtz 2015-05-12 12:50

    Lynn, keep your vaginal ultrasound out of my stash. Your opinions masquerading as facts here are evidence of your own demons and not of mine or of other readers here.

    Cannabis is already legal in parts of South Dakota: $20 says the state is already secretly negotiating a compact with the tribes for its regulation.

  19. Lynn 2015-05-12 13:04


    You do realize that your hostile attack towards me is a classic response of an addict that feels threatened right? It is a predictable response.

    Remember an old blog post of yours where you were at a friends place and you and the neighbor had a confrontation, his dog bit your calf and you were so mad that you had to go into the house and smoke two bowls to cope before the police came? That is a clear sign of addiction and using pot as a crutch. There are better and healthier ways to deal with stressful situations.

  20. larry kurtz 2015-05-12 13:12

    What do you do after a confrontation, Lynn: pull the ice cream out of the freezer and eat it until it’s gone? Say the rosary? One person’s crutch is another’s therapy.

  21. tara volesky 2015-05-12 13:23

    Pot is nothing compared to all the people that are addicted to prescription drugs, including the masses of children addicted to baby meth.

  22. tara volesky 2015-05-12 13:26

    Willie Nelson gave up cigarettes and alcohol for pot. At 82, he seems like he’s doing quite well.

  23. Lynn 2015-05-12 13:39


    Your responses and behavior on this blog further reinforce why legalization of pot is a big mistake. There should be counseling resources near where you live and I’d imagine income based if need be that can help with challenges such as addiction and learning about healthier ways to cope. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help and bettering oneself and how you relate to others. Heck! There is even an organization called Marijuana Anonymous

    Why constantly put all this negative energy into telling us how screwed we are for living in what you describe South Dakota as a chemical toilet or black hole on this and your other blogs which are nearly identical? You live in the Land of Enchantment! New Mexico is a beautiful state! One state I have yet to explore. Larry go hiking, exploring and keep taking those great photographic shots of wildlife and the scenery you have a great eye for!

  24. Craig 2015-05-12 13:48


    People tend to seek out sources which validate their opinions. I’m guessing you weren’t a fan of legalization before, and sought out Bennett’s views to support your own.

    Truth is, every one of Bennett’s points can be countered with evidence, and the fact remains that alcohol and tobacco are both far more addictive and damaging than marijuana both in the short and long terms. It is also a fact that marijuana is legal in many countries and yet those countries don’t have the problems with users treating it like a gateway drug, nor do they have issues with increased DUI offenses, higher crime rates, or the need to invest in various treatment programs. What we do see in those nations are fewer people in jail or prison for non-violent petty ‘crime’ and a lot less tax dollars wasted on punishing and prosecuting people for smoking, selling, or transporting pot.

    It is only a matter of time before the nation opts to decriminalize pot – and although there are fear mongers who predict the end of days, for the most part you likely won’t even notice (although you might find the snack aisle of your local grocery store expands by 200%).

    By the way – I’ve never smoked pot in my life and have no horse in this race. I do however pay taxes and I’m tired of paying to enforce silly laws that don’t do a thing to benefit society. I’m also tired of seeing associated crimes that are associated not with smoking pot, but with the dealers who sell it. We would be much better off with a legal product which could be taxed and regulated.

  25. larry kurtz 2015-05-12 13:50

    Actually, I’m applying for a New Mexico cannabis card to treat my glaucoma because drops don’t work. There is an epilogue to the neighbor story: the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department reported him to his landlord who threw him off the property which we bought soon after.

    Go say a couple of Hail Marys, Lynn: it might help to keep you from that carton of ice cream.

  26. Bill Dithmer 2015-05-12 13:52

    Larry, you know that wouldnt be a fair bet. My sources say that in three years time, when the deck is stacked well enough for the right people to make the kind of money they want to make, medical cannabis will be a reality in SD. You will be seeing some of the same names that speak against legalization riding that money train.

    “You do realize that your hostile attack towards me is a classic response of an addict that feels threatened right?”

    You are wrong Lynn. I wont even pretend to know what Kurtz is thinking, but my reason is simple. I dont like to hurt, I hate taking pills, and for me it works. I have no addiction! I dont climb the walls when I’m out, and I dont commit any crimes to get more. What I do have is pain.

    Pot wont do everything that some claim it will. But for me, it did the one thing that nothing else could, it stopped me from taking my own life. I know thats not enough for you, but at the time it was like winning a billion dollars to me.

    When Bennett talks about how little the drug war cost compared to no war, he doesn’t even talk about those like myself that made our choice based on life, or death.

    The war on drugs has never been about addiction or the consequences of drug use, its always been about the money that some knew they would lose out on if cannabis were legal. From William Randolph Hearst to William Bennett nothing has changed except for an informed public.

    Are you people up in SD listening? Its about education. You cant head out the year of an election and push for legalization, its a full time commitment. You cant preach, you have to teach. Even in South Dakota there is nothing more dangerous to the bigshots in Pierre then an educated public.

    But like I said before, when the deck is stacked right you will see names that will surprise you selling pot.


  27. jerry 2015-05-12 13:55

    Good question to Mr. Allender, Mr. Newland, you will not be surprised as he will not be able to give an answer that will not put him into the pretzel hold. Cannabis is a herb. It has not been produced with chemicals, only the by the hand of nature, just like me. Just like me, it is not habit forming and nothing to be alarmed about. We both help put people at ease.

    Bill Bennett is a pompous ass that reminds me of Mr. Allender in the ways of arrogance and ignorance, neither would be a good leader and neither should never be given the helm in any position. Bennett proved to be a very expensive liability to the country, citizens should be wary of a police chief in charge to extract retributions from those he has felt threatened by.

  28. larry kurtz 2015-05-12 14:01

    South Dakota recognizes marriages between two people of the same gender who got hitched in other states: it’s only a matter of time before it has to recognize my cannabis card from New Mexico otherwise it’s a violation of my civil rights.

  29. Bill Dithmer 2015-05-12 15:04

    Lynn, that cost you are talking about for the first five months of this year is right at $15 billion dollars. Bennett is saying that without the war, it would be $150 billion in the same amount of time. He says that with a straight face without any way to back his claims, nothing.

    I already know that I’m a hard read sometimes. My double digit IQ leaves me wanting a few more points just to make my arguments clear and concise. But I speak out because this is important to me. Years ago I had to weigh the consequences of buying and smoking pot. Would I be better of dead, or living a real life but still breaking the law.

    Unfortunately, I’m not alone. How many people chose death because they were traumatized, terrorized, and tormented for even thinking about useing cannabis to deal with their pain. Right now the fastest growing segment of the population “starting to use pot” is our seniors. Thats right, the same pwople that demonized pot in their youth are sucking CBDs and THC at a higher rate then anyone else. What do you think made all these people change their minds about cannabis?

    People like Bennett are haveing a tough time right now. They are trying to convince people that cannabis has no madicinal value while at the same time saying it is not just a gateway drug, but THE gateway drug. Guess what, the damn cat is out of the bag and despite what this man, or I say, its going to happen. My only question is who will end up controlling the plant when legalization takes place.

    Ive gone on long enough here, I’m going fishing.

    The Blindman

  30. Douglas Wiken 2015-05-12 16:00

    REread Curt. Could not have said it better:
    ” think we’ve drifted off the topic. The point is that Allender holds opinions and attitudes similar to many other cops – and apparently is kind of proud of it. That’s not good for fair and impartial law enforcement, but it’s worse in a Mayor – especially in RC and especially now.
    Not everyone likes Sam Kooiker, but it’s pretty hard to make a case that he’s a racist.”

  31. Lynn 2015-05-12 18:37

    I’m not a resident of Rapid City and cannot vote. I was present with Cory when he interviewed Steve Allender and he seemed very practical, low key and had a no-nonsense approach in how he would be mayor. At 53 years old and retired he is young and has plenty of opportunities to serve in public service if he chooses like the legislature or whatever. Unfortunately while in Rapid I missed the interview with the present mayor. Either way I’ll bet I could appreciate what each of them have to offer in their very different styles of management.

    The past comments made by Steve Allender back in the early 90’s were inappropriate just as Rep Hickey mentioned that he has observed a few legislators made in regards to Native Americans during a legislative session. Regardless of the subculture or environment they were in there is no excuse for that type of behavior and participating in it only perpetuates it.

    Steve Allender has stated he is not a racist and learned from that experience. My question is do you believe people can really change and be sincere rather than just a statement for personal gain? I would hope they can although everyone expresses it differently.

    Growing up I’d go visit my relatives west river at the farm where my great grandmother homesteaded and was exposed to numerous racial jokes and attitudes. I’d come back home and say stupid racially motived things trying to be funny but later on while in high school I realized just how wrong and hurtful it was. Looking back I regret those actions and luckily they were very limited. Afterwards I looked at people as individuals. If that person was a jerk it had nothing to do with anything else other than that person was a jerk. I grew and changed and hope others can too!

    When Bob Newland mentioned legalization of pot knowing he was also unable to vote in the RC election I noticed Steve Allender’s past blog link Cory provided knowing what his opinion was which I completely agreed with and retiring from a career in law enforcement he was at times exposed to the dark side of humanity. Let’s face it not everyone can be in law enforcement.

    Legalization of pot is a redline issue for me. I will not be an enabler by voting for or supporting a candidate or political party that is for legalization.

  32. jerry 2015-05-12 19:03

    Swell deal Lynn, let us all hope that you never have an illness in your body that requires you to develop a need to have an issue with sustaining yourself or that you never have vision issues. Your world is much like Mr. Allender’s, full of yourself with the red lines. Are you sure you are over your racist tendencies? When you say red lines are the way you go, then have you condemned your family to their face for the path they chose or did you give them some slack and let it slide as the line is blurred now for you. For some of us, we never had those issues in the first place.

  33. Lynn 2015-05-12 19:22


    “Are you sure you are over your racist tendencies? ” Jerry I was completely honest in what I was exposed to and how I’ve changed and grown in that regard. My actions and intentions throughout the years have not shown that I am racist. I feel fairly secure in who I am and what type of a person I am. Attacking my character would be expected by those that feel threatened by my stance on legalization. Addicts will fight like hell if they feel threatened. The nature of addiction is different with pot.

  34. Curt 2015-05-12 20:31

    Meanwhile back on the topic, we await a response from Mr Allender to Tsitrian’s quest for specifics to substantiate the challenger’s vague attacks.

  35. grudznick 2015-05-12 20:38

    Ms. Lynn, I stand on that red line with you, tho’ my good friend Bob stands on the other side.

  36. jerry 2015-05-12 21:03

    I just asked a question regarding what you said about race. You brought it up with your statement, not me. What specifically have you done to prove to yourself that you do not have issues with Natives or other minorities? Interested to know what “intentions” mean regarding your statement. Also very interested in hearing of addiction to pot and how that all works. Does the pot addict seek out bakeries for the cookie dough? How would you know about these different addictions?

  37. Lynn 2015-05-12 21:24


    It won’t work with me. Read what I posted above again for clarification. The inability to focus and fully comprehend is a another negative of being high. Go ahead call me a racist and you will have the distinction of being the 1st person to ever do so in which I could care less given the source then smoke another bowl and we can agree that we disagree. Trying to reason a person who is probably under the influence is like talking to a wall.

  38. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-12 21:25

    Larry, that ice cream comment is wild lashing out, without basis in fact or connection to any issue under discussion here. Such cheap insults do neither my blog nor yours any good.

  39. jerry 2015-05-12 21:27

    Yeah, it does work with you. I had to read what you wrote to make the comment. Its okay not to answer and play dodge ball, that is exactly how Mr. Allender plays the game as well.

  40. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-12 21:41

    Candidate Allender, thank you for dropping by, and thank you for restoring your full blog to the public record.

    Candidate Allender, you say, “I ‘hid’ the posts, merely to emphasize my transition from Chief to mayoral candidate. This was too much for the conspiracy theorists and rumors of horrible things I’d written about were worse than the truth.”

    I can’t speak to what was “too much” for the folks who raised a stink when they noticed the deletion. Had I noticed, my stink would not have depended on the content of those posts or a desire to portray them as anything other than what they were. My critique would have rested first on the fact that we bloggers speak on the record. To “hide” our posts after we have published them is to assert an expectation of privacy that we gave up when we hit “Publish”. It’s censorship and revisionism, an attempt to say that we did not speak words that we spoke, that we did not attempt to influence public thought and discourse. Such action doesn’t feel right to me.

    We hold copyright to our words. Do we hold “delete-right”? Or does publishing our words (making our words public) give the public some degree of ownership over our words?

  41. larry kurtz 2015-05-12 21:50

    Thanks for the satori, Cory: try to keep up, k?

  42. Bill Dithmer 2015-05-12 21:58

    I’m back from fishing. While Kow Kow and I were setting on the dam grade I realized that I did in fact have an addiction.

    I love to eat great food. I like about twenty ozs of medium rare, grain fed, well marbled, fork tender but you use a knife so the juce stays in the meat cooked over real coals not gas, beef. Lets throw a handful of bacon wrapped assparigus, some oven baked fries, and because we baked fries we’ll cook up some deep fried hard rolls.

    Now Cory that is what I’d call “off topic.”

    The Blindman

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-12 21:59

    (Keep up with what? I think you’re running a different race, and not the right one.)

  44. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-05-12 22:00

    Jerry, hold that thought. Allender may yet have an answer, but like me, he may have been out doing other things and needed time to get back to the conversation. Or, like Bill D, he may have been out fishing. I hold commenters to no set time limit.

  45. larry kurtz 2015-05-12 22:03

    What Dithmer said, Cory: do you know where your allegiances reside?

  46. Bob Newland 2015-05-12 22:15

    Well, Steve. Looks like Lynn’s your friend, anyway. Good luck with that.

  47. grudznick 2015-05-12 23:11

    Mr. Dithmer, how was the catching?

  48. Steve Allender 2015-05-13 01:01

    Cory – I “hid” the posts because there was an option to hide, or delete. I started blogging as a means to communicate to Rapid Citians from my Chief’s chair. I had no plans when I left to continue blogging forever. Rookie blogger mistake, lesson learned. By the way – the “paid for by Allender 4 Mayor” disclaimer – was put on the site when I launched the campaign – to keep people from crying foul.

    No Bob, I am not going to answer your question. Why would I? Nothing I could do or say would ever be satisfactory to you since I do not endorse legalization of pot. Now that I have taken a stance on pot, I am merely another member of the enemy to you. I don’t spend my time hating you for your views. They are your views, not mine.

    I am not sure I have met any of the people commenting here, besides Cory and Lynn, but a number of you judge me, from what? My blog? If you followed my career you would find plenty of evidence of fair and impartial treatment of the citizens I served. Among other things, I served on boards and committees focused on Native American issues, homeless issues, mental illness. I started a police exchange with Pine Ridge Tribal Police and the RCPD – to help RCPD officers understand the reality of the struggles of Native people on the reservation, to make them better officers and better people. I helped start a community garden in a rundown neighborhood. I opened RCPD records for a public study related to disproportionate minority contacts. I participated in initiatives to curb unnecessary incarcerations. Developed and tried to implement a program to provide resources and service to parolees to increase their chances for success. Very little of my time as Chief was spent on police matters, but a great deal was spent on community issues. But, I stuck up for police officers, so to some I am just part of the problem.

    I did reply to the Constant Commoner blog tonight, for those interested.

  49. John Tsitrian 2015-05-13 06:14

    Steve’s piece is up: The candidates are sparring in my blog over the condition of Rapid City’s economy and what they’d do about (in Steve’s case) fixing it, or (in Sam’s case) maintaining its momentum. Quite a lively difference of opinion over the economic state of affairs in RC. I’m standing aside and letting the candidates have at it.

  50. larry kurtz 2015-05-13 06:34

    Pete Fuller judged Steve Allender pretty effectively by calling him and his minions ‘a bunch of racists’ while as Rico said in The Professionals Sam Kooiker is a self-made bastard.

  51. tara volesky 2015-05-13 06:34

    I think it is great that candidates such as Mr. Allender will come on blogs like DFP and CC and answer questions and comment, something that mainstream media has lost. Mr. Allender, would you say you have dealt with more deaths related to alcohol and prescription drug overdoses, or pot? And do people who are under the influence of alcohol tend to commit more assaults than people who are high on cannabis? Thanks. One other question, does the DEA educate officers when it comes to marijuana? Thanks again.

  52. Steve Sanchez 2015-05-13 07:43

    Mr. Allender, you and I have never met. I grew up in Belle Fourche, though, and remember seeing you in your police uniform when I was a kid. Years later, while serving in the Army, I developed an interest in law enforcement and applied for a position with the Seattle PD. After taking their tests and interviewing in front of a panel of officers, I received a job offer. I spent 7 years there, gained a lot of experience, became a Field Training Officer and filled in as Patrol Sergeant at times. I was a member of the Honor Guard. There was recognition for various achievements, etc. There came a time, however, when the longing to return home became too much to ignore.

    First stop, Belle Fourche. I met a girl from Rapid City soon after. We are married and have delightful children now – 14 years later. But, back then, I looked at Sioux Falls and thought the PD there would be a good place to work. So, we moved. I applied for a job, tested and was hired.

    Within a few months, I realized SFPD wasn’t what I had imagined. I showed up every day as a Student Officer in their FTO program and never had any problems. It just didn’t feel right and I didn’t find it particularly rewarding. There wasn’t the sense of accomplishment at the end of the shift that I had experienced earlier in my career. I waited out the probationary period – so as not to fuel any discussion about being let go – and then moved to an even smaller department in nearby Madison, as the local PD was hiring at the time.

    Fast forward and you reach the point where my wife and I decided it would be nice to return to the Hills where our immediate families reside; our children’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

    I submitted an application to RCPD after visiting with some officers and then going on a ride-along to try and gauge the overall atmosphere there. All applicants that cycle were testing for one of about 7 jobs to be filled and, as it was explained to me, I arrived at #2 on the list, which was relayed to me in an “I’ve got good news and bad news for you” phone call from one of your Sergeants. Good news, right? Now, the bad news.

    Sergeant: The Chief isn’t convinced you’re committed to the department.
    Applicant/Me: Excuse me? Really?! What do I have to do to convince him?
    Sergeant: Submit another application and go through the process again. The current deadline to get your app in is in 2 weeks.
    Applicant/Me: Seriously? I just submitted an application not long ago. Nothing on it will have changed! If I send you another app, does he expect me to go through the entire process all over again?
    Sergeant: Yes.
    Applicant/Me: Wow. I don’t believe it. Let me give this some thought.

    I heard from that Sergeant several times over the next few months. He kept asking me to send in another application. I kept saying no. I had decided I didn’t want to work for you after that.

    How many certified applicants have tested, done well enough to earn a position with the RCPD and then been asked to go through the entire process again for similar – or any other – reasons? I know this next question is purely hypothetical, but what would your response be if you won the election and then were asked to start the entire process all over again from square one? I know I wouldn’t do it. I felt too dirty after my experience.

    Again, we’ve never met but my opinion about whether or not you are a fair and impartial person is firmly set. And, just in case you’re wondering, everything worked out for us. My family is in a good place again and I really enjoy my new job.

  53. Bill Dithmer 2015-05-13 08:05

    “I could list statistics on this page related to the negative effects of marijuana, the healthcare costs transferred to taxpayers related to it, the added deaths on our highways because of it and so on, but those who have made up their minds and believe what they read in High Times magazine or what they see on aCheech and Chong movie would not benefit from it, and the rest of us do not need to benefit from it, so I’ll skip it.”

    Sir I dont even live there and I’m wundering, why a man would say he had all of theses statistics that prove his case and then not show the goods. Show me just one instance where the death certificate tells you that cannabis ingestion alone, and nothing else was in fact the cause of death.

    “Drug dealers should get stiff prison time and all of their assets seized.”

    Looks like your willing to fine the whole damn family for the conviction of one person, now that is sick. We’ll just put Ma in jail for selling pot, when we seize the families assets its gonna put the old man and the kids on the street, that’ll teach em.

    In general LEOs are great people that are forced to change their way of policing whenever there is a new boss. When that boss is beholden to a government agency for some of his toys, it might make him say some things he really doesnt mean.

    At any rate it would be a fun debate between you and the mayor. Although I think you could pee higher on the wall then Sam, I doubt you could match his disingenuous attitude.

    But hey like I said I dont live there, I’m watching from afar. Rapid politics have always been like a Road Runner cartoon.

    The Blindman

  54. Lynn 2015-05-13 08:28


    “What Dithmer said, Cory: do you know where your allegiances reside?”

    Allegiances? Can you explain?

  55. larry kurtz 2015-05-13 08:38

    Cory and at least two other South Dakota blogs have Kooiker adverts running in their sidebars: pretty clear indication of an allegiance to capitalism instead of to journalism. That Republicans have cash stakes in a forum that purports to be devoted to progressive ideals makes me want to puke.

  56. Lynn 2015-05-13 08:43

    Don’t you think that it’s revenue to help support the blog while maintaining journalistic objectivity?

  57. larry kurtz 2015-05-13 08:44

    Uh, no. Madville 2.0 is as objective as Sibby Online is.

  58. Lynn 2015-05-13 08:54

    “Drug use crimes should be dealt with differently. Those users who are addicted should be getting treatment, over and over until it works. Those users who are not addicted, should be given community service, work release, fines or some other alternative sanctions prior to using up jail space.” Steve Allender 2012/11/13

    Seems reasonable to me and I feel it is the best approach.

  59. larry kurtz 2015-05-13 08:58

    Put those addicted to legal painkillers and sugary drinks do the community service first because those gateway drugs kill far more people than regulated cannabis would.

  60. larry kurtz 2015-05-13 09:00

    Yeah, like Rapid City’s council or the PennCo commission would pass a resolution making arrests for cannabis possession or use the lowest priority. Pull your head out of the opiate haze you live under, Lynn.

  61. Lynn 2015-05-13 09:04

    “Here’s where we may not agree: Drug dealers should get stiff prison time and all of their assets seized” Steve Allender 2012/11/13

    The drug dealers made a choice. They know if they get caught they will pay the penalty!

  62. larry kurtz 2015-05-13 09:05

    Newland has the right idea holding legal booze and tobacco sales responsible for the ills in my home state because the people killed by legal cannabis approach zero.

  63. larry kurtz 2015-05-13 09:08

    Drug dealers like the Thrifty Smoke Shop and Boyd’s liquor stores have killed hundreds if not thousands: seize their assets and throw those pushers in prison,

  64. Lynn 2015-05-13 09:15

    There does need to be an increase in sales tax for alcohol to help cover the costs from all the damage it causes. That increase is long overdue.

  65. Bob Newland 2015-05-13 09:16

    Lynn and Allender share an interesting world view. I paraphrase it below:

    Pot is bad. If you get caught using it you should be publicly shamed and financially punished. I have no rationale for this feeling.

    Alcohol and tobacco are good. You have paid your taxes on them and it’s okay with me if you kill yourself using them.

  66. tara volesky 2015-05-13 09:26

    Bob, you forgot to throw in baby meth “Adderall” speaking of addiction. It’s easy to go after pot which is just a safe herb that has no effect on society, than address alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs. SHAME, SHAME SHAME. Bob, you scare the hell out of me, lol because your choice of medication happens to be cannabis. Get him off the street, he’s a danger to society. Does anybody see how ridiculous this is?

  67. larry kurtz 2015-05-13 09:36

    Tara, i confess to loving Adderall: it should be made available free to people instead of keeping the meth industry alive.

  68. jerry 2015-05-13 09:50

    Mr. Sanchez, maybe if you would have changed your last name and resubmitted, you would have been able to work for the chief. What really funds the police are the taking of the assets. Even if you are innocent, it does not matter, winner takes all. Mr. Allender knows who butters his bread and who buys the toys that make his militarization of the force up and running. The ACLU tells it like it is. Mr. Allender writes he is all in on the theft, this is more like racketeering than to serve and protect.

  69. Curt 2015-05-13 10:12

    Yes, the challenger (Mr Allender) has posted a response on the Constant Commoner. If you plan to vote in the RC Mayoral election, you should read it. Not that he proposes anything specific – he doesn’t.

  70. Lynn 2015-05-13 12:04


    “It is only a matter of time before the nation opts to decriminalize pot – and although there are fear mongers who predict the end of days, for the most part you likely won’t even notice (although you might find the snack aisle of your local grocery store expands by 200%).”

    Have you ever worked in an environment where employees came in so high from pot it was not only obvious but they were unable to perform their duties and the other employees had to make up for the loss in productivity? I have in a number of work environments. One which there were only two of us working that day in a nationwide mail order with a retail showroom up front and were very busy. He went outside, came back reeked of pot with eyes bloodshot and was unable to do anything but just be a zombie. It must of been a very strong strain and he admitted what he did. The rest of the day he was worthless with phones ringing and customers up front.

    Was he reprimanded after I reported him Monday morning? No! The owner was born into old money, had a history of heavy drug use and also thought pot was harmless and it was no big deal. One thing that is a constant is that these drug users and addicts and I’m including pot as that drug cover each other in a work environment. There is no way my former co-worker could of driven a car or done anything besides just sit there looking straight forward. It’s just the way it was but it definitely lost business and productivity. That business closed Jan 1st this year.

    Observations at work have been made by other non-users including a friend who worked 34 years for Northwest Airlines now Delta’s maintenance facility in the Twin Cities. Her co-workers came in high or got high at work sometimes mixing in the pot with tobacco but the end result was that their behavior was obvious that it negatively affected their jobs especially in that environment of commercial passenger aircraft maintenance. It’s a little scary to hear the stories that these users and addicts being under the influence on a safety critical item that could be catastrophic but then again it’s just a harmless benign herb right? LOL There is again a loss of productivity in which expenses are passed onto the consumer, could affect competitiveness in the marketplace and obvious safety issues.

    You mentioned countries that legalized pot. One of those countries is Portugal which is teetering on a financial collapse similar to Greece. Lack of productivity and fiscal discipline and once that collapse happens and the ripple effect will be felt worldwide.

    Legalization will only make matters worse.

  71. larry kurtz 2015-05-13 12:16

    So, we retired people should not enjoy cannabis because you say so, Lynn?

  72. tara volesky 2015-05-13 12:23

    That’s why pot should be regulated like liquor and cigarettes. No coming to work drunk or high.

  73. bearcreekbat 2015-05-13 12:24

    Lynn’s comment implies that she and other non-pot smokers know exactly what is going on in the minds and lives of people they suspect of pot smoking. But in reality, Lynn and her straight friends have no idea what is happening in the minds and lives of these people that they detest. Lynn and her straight friends don’t know what other medications these suspected pot smokers are on, whether these folks have other illnesses or conditions that might affect behavior.

    No, instead, since it fits Lynn’s worldview, she is comfortable with a theory that to her explains the actions of all other people based on pot smoking alone. I suspect Lynn is not alone in focusing only on her bias about pot, while ignoring or excluding testimony from folks like the Blindman that pot literally saved his life by relieving pain when no other drugs worked for him.

    Lynn, how can we get you to open your eyes and mind to see the world objectively? Pot might be bad for some people and provide great help to others, and cause no harm at all to most.

  74. Bob Newland 2015-05-13 12:27

    Lynn, the incidents of which you speak all occurred while cannabis was (is) illegal. The law did nothing to prevent it. There is no evidence that the laws prevented even one person from using an illegal drug. The laws have, however, created great income opportunities for criminals and criminal cops.

    Your view is myopic, and, I might say, rather ignorant.

  75. grudznick 2015-05-13 12:29

    Lar, you know Bob’s not retired.

  76. Lynn 2015-05-13 12:39

    If it is not addictive why would these co-workers keep showing up to work daily high, jokingly or casually admit or be witnessed getting high off pot? They can’t perform their duties, play games or hide while expecting a paycheck. It’s not just me that’s experienced this firsthand on numerous occasions and various places of work. The friend of mine who worked at Northwest has 34 years of stories and she has her non user co-workers have stories too that got stuck with these workers that were deadweight. Bad things can happen to planes and the odds only increased with those under the influence working on them.

  77. Lynn 2015-05-13 12:42


    “Your view is myopic, and, I might say, rather ignorant”

    Yeah like in an earlier post you advocate for the full legalization of all drugs? LOL

  78. jerry 2015-05-13 13:21

    Greece just got invited to join BRICS and they just paid the interest on the Euro loan. You should note that Portugal is not on the brink of collapse and neither is the Netherlands, where you can go into a cafe or simply purchase your pre-rolled bomber to use at your leisure. Colorado, in the good ole USA, is doing so well that they are lowering taxes and have less problems with full legalization than other states that are more restrictive.

    One pot smoker closed down your business on January 1st of this year. One guy shut it all down is what you are saying. I think the business was on life support and was in trouble long before the pot smoker came along. At your new job, did you have to pee in a cup before you were hired?

    I took a look at Northwest Airline and saw that they did not have any more adverse incidents than any other airline of the same size and scope. Sometimes people just like to talk Lynn and when they find someone gullible enough to swallow the crap, they keep on keeping on. I did not see that you noted that this stellar employee had contacted her superiors regarding misbehaving on the job site, wonder why? Northwest Airlines was purchased by Delta with whom I fly a lot with. There is not one time that I get into the plane and see anything but professionalism and little leg room. I would think that if there is so much pot use with the airline, they would at least put better munchies out for all to indulge themselves with.

    I remember not too long ago when a candidate for governor’s wife, got in a dangerous situation and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and I believe, cold medication. You can become impaired very easily with just about anything, even with stuff you buy over the counter at your local grocery store.

    It is good to have opposing views on issues, but please, stop pulling my leg.

  79. Lynn 2015-05-13 13:58


    Check again regarding Portugal. Plenty of stories pertaining to the heavy debt and how delicate balance things are for that country.

    One pot smoker did not shut down the business. It was several and just the culture there. It was a small company and had longstanding issues and that company had a specialized niche in the marketplace. Because the owner had a certain temperament and being a past heavy drug user with an attitude that pot was harmless and benign he hired an number of users and addicts. The two guys we had in shipping both had a daily habit of getting high at work would repeatedly mess up sending the wrong amounts or wrong orders.

    I already mentioned the guy stoned off his arse that worked with me. Both of us were up front trying to clean up the mess from shipping and provide good customer service and sales. I left on good terms, got along with everyone and would of been welcomed back since they knew I was there to work, responsible and was good with customers. Their culture eventually caught up to them which is a shame since there was so much potential and still is.

    Those non-users working in airline maintenance which is a far different environment than what you see as a customer did go up the chain of command to report these pot addicts and users at work but nothing happened. Those reps in the machinists union did nothing since they themselves were users/addicts or had a financial interest in what was going on behind the scene and the same with management at least the ones they had access to. What happened a few times was that the non-users were then put on the worst duty in retaliation or were their career upward mobility was blocked for trying to report what was going on. Remember when I mentioned above that addicts tend to protect and cover for each other in the workplace? It’s common.

    Normally they would be supportive of Unions in how valuable they could be in today’s corporate environment but in this case the union was abused to protect those that were incompetent and should of been reprimanded with time off to get treatment or terminated. Ironically that union was busted and most of the employees lost their jobs when Delta merged with Northwest.

  80. jerry 2015-05-13 14:07

    We have debt here as well. Debt is not such a bad thing when all things are considered, but that is for another topic.

    Portugal is not in debt because of pot so get that out of your melon. Portugal is in debt because US banks like JP Morgan. Same issue with Greece.

    I am delighted to hear that you were such a stellar employee among all those pot heads. My question would be, why on earth would they hire such a straight person as yourself? Something must have told the owner that you were a bro, do you have a Grateful Dead sticker on your car? That may have been it. Nice that you bashed the union in there as well, surprised that you did not include Obama in the blame game, but what the hell, the day is young.

  81. Daniel Buresh 2015-05-13 14:11

    It will be legal as soon as the grey hairs die off. It’s amazing what positions the baby boomers have put us in with their false propaganda. Things will be better soon enough and the ignorant and anti-science will no longer be talking over every reasonable person who has facts supporting their argument.

  82. Lynn 2015-05-13 14:19


    Hahaha! Wrong and wrong again! Hey don’t worry I fully expect to get attacked by those trying to protect their addiction and your response is classic. It happens and doesn’t matter what effort, sincerity what data I bring or valid experience I share you will dismiss and try to distort it. Just they way it is. You can smoke another bowl, laugh it off and we can agree that you and I are wasting each other’s time ok? :)

    Just another example of why legalization of pot is just plain wrong! If the SDDP pushes it will not only be divisive and further reduce any chance of party building but even if it were to pass after the honeymoon the party will pay dearly for pushing this.

  83. tara volesky 2015-05-13 15:21

    The Democrat Party should come out and fully support the Legalization of medical cannabis. It’s the right and moral thing to do. Just look at the people and children who are suffering and have to take toxic prescriptions when they could be taking natural medication without all the side effects.

  84. jerry 2015-05-13 18:40

    Agreed Tara, it would be remarkable if they did the right thing and put that on the platform, unless they really do not want to win an election. It would wake up the voters and send them to the polls in support. It is long past time to eliminate the prosecution for medical pot and pot in general. Cannabis is a life saver as noted in this blog, why not let the rest of the population here use as directed. We do not have to go far from our borders to see how well it is working in neighboring states.

  85. tara volesky 2015-05-13 20:27

    Rise up Democrats and don’t play the fear card.

  86. larry kurtz 2015-05-13 20:48

    Volesky for Congress!

  87. Les 2015-05-13 21:05

    “”””It will be legal as soon as the grey hairs die off. It’s amazing what positions the baby boomers have put us in with their false propaganda. “””” is this sarcasm or what am I missing here, DB.? The boomers are the children of the 60’s in case you haven’t watched a movie or listened to your parents.

  88. Daniel Buresh 2015-05-13 21:25

    The boomers and older are the voting class. Get legalization on the ballot and I bet you’ll see a much better turnout of the younger generations. Unless they were a hippie, they are mostly against it. My parents were in college in the middle 60’s and despise it all. Anecdotal…I’d say a majority of those I’ve met being a similar age as my parents are more than likely against it. Add a christian characteristic and it just goes up. Frankly, anyone who thinks prohibition works is ignorant in my book. I laugh at people who can sit and have a few beers with friends or at a wedding, but bring up weed and they think you are the devil incarnate. It’s just as available as alcohol these days and I feel locking people up and ruining their lives is a waste of time and resources. Go to a keg party or a 420 gathering, and you tell me which one is more violent and destructive. The writing is on the wall. States that have legalized it have had nothing but success. Regulate it. Tax the crap out of it. Start reversing the propaganda that has been spoon-fed to so many misled individuals. The fear of legalization is completely unfounded.

  89. tara volesky 2015-05-13 21:52

    Kurtz for Congress, that sounds better.

  90. Curt 2015-05-13 22:15

    For those who are interested, please see ‘Constant Commoner’ comments posted today by Mr Allender in response to requests for specifics. He says RC needs to adopt building codes tailored to needs of the community and reduce some ‘excessive fees’.

  91. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-05-13 22:22

    Daniel, I’m a Boomer, and I fully support legalization of marijuana. So does each one of my Boomer friends. I am aware of some Boomers who do not support legalization. In my experience, Boomers are fairly evenly split on the issue.

    Daniel, I probably know more Boomers than you do. They are my contemporaries.

  92. jerry 2015-05-14 08:12

    The “legal drug cartels” in America do much more addicting with their condensed chemicals than could ever happen with the natural herb, Cannabis. The problem that occurs is that the pharmaceutical companies along with the alcohol industry, cannot figure how they can profit from this natural medicine.

    Enter the legal system, they have found the niche they were looking for to drive income to purchase the weapons of war and other toys. Cannabis is the Midas touch for keeping it illegal, of course some police will want to keep it that way.

  93. bearcreekbat 2015-05-17 10:42

    Lynn, your comments about medical marijuana suggest that you are concerned about kids. What do you think of this National Geographic article I just happened to find?

    Nat Geo isn’t exactly a liberal pro-pot publication. People who support kids may want to rethink their opposition to marijuana legalization. What about you?

  94. jerry 2015-05-17 11:02

    Forbes writes of Portugal as a story of how it works for an entire country to say no to the war on drugs.

    Portugal has struggled with its economy with positive results that show very positive improvement. One of the things that is not dragging down their economy is the war on drugs. It looks as if they got smart at the right time and it is paying off for them in study after study over the years.

  95. mike from iowa 2015-05-17 13:19

    Viagra and Cialis pills are against legalizing pot.

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