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Arends Hates Cops? Lincoln County Commission Denies Deputies Raises; Sheriff Uses Campaign Funds to Pay Bonuses

Joel Arends must hate cops. Last week he and three other Republicans on the Lincoln County Commission voted to deny Lincoln County Law Enforcement a 9.25% pay raise, even though the commission had just approved a 10% raise for other county employees.

Ah, but maybe it’s not cops in general Arends and his Republican colleagues hate, just unionized cops:

The Board decided to leave out police officers (not including sheriffs and staff) in its 10 percent raise proposal for all county employees, and instead brought a separate measure proposing a slightly lower wage increase for officers (9.25 percent) than all other county employees because the deputies are unionized and received slightly higher raises last year [John Gaskins, “Lincoln County Board Rejects Police Pay Raise in What Sheriff Calls ‘Pure Politics’,” KSFY, 2022.06.29].

Commissioner Jim Schmidt at least has the good sense to say he voted no because he thought the lower pay raise for deputies was unfair:

Commissioner Jim Schmidt didn’t think the proposed raise for deputies was high enough.

”What I thought we were going to do was give a 10 percent across the board raise to everyone, bar none,” Schmidt said.

He also said he regrets voting ‘no,’ because he realizes how the board is “looking like a bunch of fools” for going against the police force 4-to-1 [Gaskins, 2022.06.29].

Sheriff Steve Schmidt doesn’t have time for politics to erode his workforce. He knows that if he wants to keep his deputies from seeking better pay and working conditions elsewhere, he’s got to put money in their pockets now. He’s thus writing them $500 checks from his campaign fund:

Steve Swenson, sheriff's campaign page, screen cap 2022.07.03.
Steve Swenson, sheriff’s campaign page, screen cap 2022.07.03.

Sheriff Swenson says Arends and his partisans are hurting law enforcement morale and recruiting:

“It’s done a lot of damage to the morale of the men and women that are out on the roads 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It was just a huge hit,” Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Swenson said.

Swenson says Lincoln County can’t recruit new deputies if the department doesn’t pay competitive wages [Perry Groten, “Sheriff Taps into Campaign Fund to Pay Bonus to Deputies,” KELO-TV, 2022.07.01].

Swenson’s payouts total $11,000. The Lincoln County Commission has police pay raises on its agenda for its Tuesday, July 5 meeting. Arends will thus get another chance to back the blue—or, in the county deputies’ case, the brown—or be counted as another “Defund the Police” radical.

Related Compensatory Data: shows a Lincoln County job listing from earlier this year offering new deputy sheriffs $23.28 to $25.69 per hour, “with a full earning potential of up to $31.31/hr” and a $5,000 hiring bonus. A similar job listing for Minnehaha County posted in May offers deputies $26.65 to $29.43 per hour, with a maximum rate of $38.61 per hour.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-07-03 09:14

    As a Hebrew Arends wants armed settlers to take laws into their own hands because he knows cops’ lives suck.

    It’s no secret this interested party would like to see Israel rolled back to 1917 borders and its Jewish inhabitants moved to Utah or Nevada.

    Recall former South Dakota state senator Dan Lederman, now chairman of the earth hater party in the state, along with fellow Jewish-American Joel Arends teamed up with Islamophobe and whackjob of the nth order, Frank Gaffney, for an event in Sioux Falls.

  2. grudznick 2022-07-03 09:31

    Unions are bad. They are very bad, as demonstrated by them getting these unionized fellows lesser raises. Teachers should let this be a cautionary tale.

  3. larry kurtz 2022-07-03 09:37

    Driving the law enforcement industry from my home state would be South Dakota’s just deserts.

  4. larry kurtz 2022-07-03 09:48

    There is significant merit in discontinuing sobriety checkpoints entirely and letting South Dakota Republicans simply kill each other.

  5. 96Tears 2022-07-03 09:56

    Joel “Defund the police” Arends’ first act on the national stage was this sham event with a sham veterans group with its fake 500,000 supporters to help Donald Trump chicken out of a GOP Iowa caucus debate.

    Of course, who can forget his brilliant defense work for sham U.S. candidate Annette Bosworth?

    When I heard he was on the Lincoln County Commission, I figured that he must have been the only one to have filed for it, or his opponent decided not to try or do a little research on Joel. Either way, we have an opportunity to nip a political career in the bud before we get another bloated ego in the style of Jason Ravnsborg running for State Attorney General. The garden needs weeding in Lincoln County.

  6. 96Tears 2022-07-03 10:47

    It makes me wonder, Cory, how he answers his smart phone in the car: “This…well…ma’am, I’m the County Commissioner!”

    If Trump makes it back to the White House, he’ll have binders of grifter advocates with law degrees to complete the job he started on Jan. 6.

  7. grudznick 2022-07-03 12:33

    Mr. Trump cannot make it back to the White House or society will implode.

  8. grudznick 2022-07-03 13:02

    Mr. Biden just crushes the economy and wrecks the markets by printing money.

  9. cibvet 2022-07-03 13:23

    I think some has to print money to pay the bills repubs put on credit cards they have no intention of paying.

  10. Bob Newland 2022-07-03 15:51

    Everything I know about Arends, and that goes back to his last year in law school, suggests that he is an entirely unsavory slimeball.

  11. Mark Anderson 2022-07-03 19:56

    Civet, just go to The Conservatives with Common Cents breakfast and see what tips they leave. Unions are necessary Grudz.

  12. Richard Schriever 2022-07-04 08:22

    Jim Schmidt is a fool. He once tried to claim that a rural residential development on a golf course was “affordable housing” in support of a life-long friend of his who was the developer.

  13. cibvet 2022-07-04 08:56

    Mark Anderson–Conservatives with Common Cents(Sense) are mythical creatures that live in the minds of doddering old
    antagonist buffoons who spend their days hunting Sasquatch and unicorns.

  14. John 2022-07-04 09:44

    Larry: thanks for the dui link. That angers me for: 1) safety, and 2) my auto insurance rates are higher because I live in the jurisdiction of the drunk drivers.
    There is no excuse for MT and SD having scores 3 times higher than do the lowest states. No excuse, until one looks at the drunk drivers in the SD legislature.

    While the incident occurred the next county over . . . one should remind wingnut Arends that 2 people died, and another is in critical condition literally hours after he rejected an inflation pay bump for Lincoln County LEOs. Of course, the incidents are unrelated. Yet they are a stark reminder of the sacrifice we demand of our law enforcement officers — and distance our LEOs from the cowardly behavior at the Uvalde school and the lawlessness LEOs in Ohio who shot an unarmed man 60 times then handcuffed the body.

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