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Refugee Cops Take Lower Pay, Face Increasing Gang Violence in Pennington County

New blue-state refugee cops in Pennington County are taking “a few steps back” in pay to work in South Dakota law enforcement. But who needs cash when you can crush on Kristi?

Seven of the 15 total new recruits sworn in will go to work for the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, including Randy Mullins, who moved to South Dakota to become a deputy.

Mullins previously worked in law enforcement in Kennewick, Washington. He arrived in Rapid City with his family just days ago.

“We came to South Dakota because we were looking for a safer place to live,” he said. “Washington State is just not the best place to be. We really liked the politics in South Dakota.”

Mullins said he even got a chance to meet Gov. Kristi Noem on Wednesday. Noem stopped by the Public Safety Building in Rapid City to meet with the new recruits and hear why they came to work for Pennington County.

“She is as genuine in person as she is in media,” he said [link added; Shannon Marvel, “Pennington County Sheriff’s Office Swears in New Recruits from Across the Country,” Rapid City Journal, 2021.11.04].

Darn—I was hoping Governor Noem might drop her baloney in person and speak more honestly in face-to-face settings than she does in her tweets and executive orders and press conferences. Oh well.

As for safety, Deputy Mullins might want to attend his Captain Tony Harrison’s next briefing on increasing gang violence in Rapid City:

Street gang members in Rapid City are becoming less fearful of consequences.

That’s according to Tony Harrison, captain of Investigations for the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, who has been investigating street gang activity in Rapid City and Pennington County over the course of his 25-year career in law enforcement.

Since the beginning of his career, Harrison said street gangs in the area have become noticeably more prone to use violence than in past years.

“The fear of consequences seems to be less,” he said. “Consequences can be many things, it could be getting assaulted by another person, arrested, put in jail, killed. Some of the consequences are implemented by the legal system and some of them are implemented by the gang’s own justice system.”

Harrison said there are several large street gangs in Rapid City, including the Boyz, North Side Gangster Disciples, and the North Side Family [Shannon Marvel, “Street Gangs Less Fearful of Consequences, Pennington County Investigator Says,” Rapid City Journal, 2021.11.06].

Again, oh well: another loving gaze from the Snow Queen’s genuinely bedazzling blue eyes will wipe away any facts about gang violence or low pay. Noemistan and the SDGOP run on personality cultists, not empiricists.

(Note: one of the new PCSO recruits told Governor Noem Wednesday that the “ridiculous” housing market as him and his family, with three kids and three dogs, still staying in a two-bedroom AirBnB.)


  1. WillyNilly 2021-11-08 10:00

    Some years ago, I moved to another state for a job. I was happy to go because in addition to a substantial salary increase I thought the political climate might be a little more enlightened. Sadly, I was wrong. There are disturbing politicians and supporters everywhere you go. Better to stay where there are friends and family and make the effort to improve your home state. Glad I left though because I earned so much more than I would have had I spent prime earning years in SD. My deepest sympathies to those who chose SD as their new home.

  2. mike from iowa 2021-11-08 10:20

    Word of advice to new LEOS, stay the hell off Indian Cooperative owned lands! From what I understand, cops have no jurisdiction there and they allegedly know that.

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-11-08 10:46

    Cops are like teachers in that when they commit distasteful and criminal offenses they’re allowed to simply resign, without remarks in their file.

  4. Eve Fisher 2021-11-08 11:17

    “We came to South Dakota because we were looking for a safer place to live.”
    Oh, Officer Mullins, and all your fellow Blue State Refugees, you’re in for a steep learning curve. I’m sure none of them know about tribal lands, borders, sovereignty, laws; I’m sure the feds are going to have fun kicking some of them in the patoot when they screw those up; and then yes, there are gangs. Serious gangs. Plus the I-90 corridor is a major chute for drugs.
    And then, they don’t know anybody up here, and so they have no idea who’s really in power, and who’s not, and when they start screwing that up… “Hi, I’m Brad, and I’m tough on crime.” “Hi, I’m the local legislator / judge / banker / manager / (or family member thereof) and I don’t GET arrested.”
    Good luck. You’re going to need it.

  5. Bob Newland 2021-11-08 11:23

    “ ‘She is as genuine in person as she is in media,’ he said.”

    And he’s saying that like it’s a good thing?

  6. jerry 2021-11-08 11:55

    Guess it’s clear what the political ideals of these guys are, Proud Boys have a new home. Proud Boys meet The Boyz sure doesn’t seem like a good mix for anyone. Rapid City’s past shootout showed the results.

  7. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-11-08 13:04

    Amidst all these stupidities, the one that caught my attention most was the note of a family with three dogs and as many children living in a two-bedroom AirBnB. How chuckle-headed does that make the “adults” in this situation? Sounds like a case for an animal welfare group and SD Social Services.
    “Hey, Honey! Pack ’em up! We gonna live in South Dakota in inadequate shelter to make our lives better! Chop chop!”

  8. jerry 2021-11-08 13:21

    Ms. Fairbank, you can bet they are getting subsidy one way or the other. BTW, these refugees are moving from safe areas into the dead zone.

    “Then the vaccines arrived.

    They proved so powerful, and the partisan attitudes toward them so different, that a gap in Covid’s death toll quickly emerged. I have covered that gap in two newsletters — one this summer, one last month — and today’s newsletter offers an update.

    The brief version: The gap in Covid’s death toll between red and blue America has grown faster over the past month than at any previous point.

    In October, 25 out of every 100,000 residents of heavily Trump counties died from Covid, more than three times higher than the rate in heavily Biden counties (7.8 per 100,000). October was the fifth consecutive month that the percentage gap between the death rates in Trump counties and Biden counties widened.”

    Stay safe the rest of us. For those who have, thanks for getting your shots and wearing masks. You prove you are true Americans who care about your country. For the rest of you, we will continue to subsidize you.

  9. Donald Pay 2021-11-08 15:36

    If he was looking for a safer place, he should have stayed in Kennewick, which has a lower crime rate.

  10. Mark Anderson 2021-11-08 16:02

    OK jerry, I will no longer get mad at Republican anti vaxers. They know what’s good for themselves.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-08 17:34

    Bonnie, I’d be curious to know what logic led the AirBnB owners to accept that 3-kid, 3-dog family as tenants. The tenants must be burning up their out-of-state savings to cover that place; I wonder if the owners gave them a discount for providing steady rental income outside the tourist season.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-08 17:41

    Donald raises a fair point: is Deputy Mullins making evidence-based decisions? calculates its own crime index for cities. Based on 2019 data, Kennewick’s crime index was 250, higher than in 77.5% of U.S. cities. Rapid City’s 2019 crime index was 413, higher than Kennewick’s and 92.2% of America’s other cities. says Kenneick’s crime index has fallen since 2006, while Rapid City’s has risen.

    But again, Noemistas don’t base their decisions on facts or data. They vote on their feelings, on what they wish were true.

    I can only hope Deputy Mullins isn’t in charge of any crime scene investigations.

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