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Pennington County Uses Flexible Shifts, Mental Health Services to Keep Workers

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is having the same trouble retaining workers as other employers:

Willie Whelchel, Chief Deputy for Pennington County Sheriff’s office says retaining police officers has been a big concern….

One suggestion from last year was shifting hours to allow officers and their families flexibility. Whelchel says it made a difference.

“From eight-hour shifts to ten-hour shifts, twelve-hour shifts and then have an opportunity to mix them up. Some people have small kids, some have middle-aged children that are involved in a lot of different activities. Many parents like to coach and be involved in these things, so they want opportunities to be plugged in at different times for different scheduling so they can be more involved with their children and their family activities.”

Another topic of discussion was mental health. Chief Deputy Brian Mueller says the sheriff’s office will continue to improve wellness services for those on patrol and off [Bryan Womack, “Pennington County Sheriffs Office on Retaining Officers,” KOTA-TV, 2022.04.06].

What? You mean Freedom™ and Kristi posters aren’t enough to keep workers happy? You mean we actually have to put “family values” into practice with good benefits tha tgive practical support to family life?


  1. Ryan 2022-04-07 10:46

    imagine if they offered proper training and fair compensation for the work being asked of these officers! they might crap their pants with all the progress and retention!

  2. Nix 2022-04-07 12:21

    As long as you have Noem circus
    fleas like Kevin Thoms in charge,
    there’s not much hope for improvement.

  3. larry kurtz 2022-04-07 12:36

    Police unions get the cash while teachers’ unions get the shaft but cops’ lives suck. Little wonder they abuse their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and occasionally murder their wives.

  4. cibvet 2022-04-07 15:25

    All shift work sucks, but most doctors, nurses, miners and all other disciplines get thru it without
    the alcohol, drugs and murder. The differences are the others do not have a “power trip” that needs to be
    turned off after work nor a blind eye tuned to the inter agency corruption.

  5. DaveFN 2022-04-07 17:03

    Nearly 150 years since it began in 1877, the PCSO must be a silo organization out of the old west: “Shifting hours to allow officers and their families flexibility” hardly seems like a novel idea, but then, for any organization behind the times…

    And/or is it that the PCSO releases this “news” on TV simply for more PR than anything, including campaigning? Thom is leaving (will be of interest to find out his golden parachute although many of us can guess). Mueller in Whelchel’s TV blurb is up for the position.

    I do wonder how the new refugee Cory reported on in November 2021 is now doing, the guy who “really likes the politics in SD:”

  6. Mark Anderson 2022-04-07 18:18

    Shift work is a killer. My father did shift work on the electricity at the Ft. Thomson dam. It leads to a no good end. There must be studies on it.

  7. mike from iowa 2022-04-08 13:31

    Kinda off topic, but, Wal Mart has upped the ante for long haul drivers precipitously…

    Walmart’s drivers were already among the best compensated in the nation. Now the world’s biggest retailer is upping the ante by resetting truck drivers’ starting salaries to $95,000 to$110,000 a year, from $87,500 previously.

  8. Fairburn 2022-04-10 17:40

    @Mike from Iowa: watch John Oliver “Last Week Tonight” about truckers and you’ll learn how wages over $100,000 dwindle down to a paltry amount after the truckers, as private contractors, pay for the gas and repairs and also are not paid for loading and unloading time. I don’t know how Wal-Mart handles their truckers, but the show is an eye-opener– but it’s funny, so easy to watch.

  9. mike from iowa 2022-04-10 18:17

    Fairburn, i will see if I can find it on the internet. I have no tv programming and haven’t for quite a number of years. Thanks for the tip.

  10. grudznick 2022-04-10 20:34

    Mr. Mike, I know you are from Iowa, but with your fixation on the doings in the Great State of South Dakota, you should be like grudznick and get the cables that brings you the Duhamel Broadcasting Enterprise experience.

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