South Dakota police officers earn on average $42,840 annually, How to Become a Police Officer reported
, citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
a slightly lower median pay of $38,520 for police and sheriff’s patrol officers in the state.
There’s a large gap between this lower level and those with more authority and specialization, however, as detectives and supervisors are paid more than $53,000.
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Indeed reported starting salaries
average $21,000 in the state.
Policing tends to be a dangerous and difficult job, but social media is making the work a bit easier in South Dakota.
Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are used to educate community members, prevent crime, contribute to investigations, and promote events, according to South Dakota Public Broadcasting
. These networking websites are even used to recruit.
Rapid City Police Department Community Relation Specialist Tarah Heupel told SDPB there is one goal, however, that is the most important for police departments when it comes to using social media.
“Probably most importantly we use it to build relationships with the public – that’s probably our main goal,” Heupel said. “It’s a good way for us to interact with the public, let people voice their concerns, and then for us to be able to respond to those things and remind people that we’re human.”
South Dakota Highway Patrol Major Rick Miller told SDPB that his team uses social media as well. Miller expressed the importance of updating feeds to keep followers informed and interacting.
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“You constantly have to be posting fresh content because your followers want to see that, and so that’s important to us because people want to hear what we’re doing; people want to be engaged with us, and we appreciate that, and, therefore, we’re going to be engaged with them,” Miller said.
Interacting with the public does not end there, however. Many police departments in South Dakota as well as across the country have started “coffee with a cop” initiatives to meet with community members face to face and develop personal relations in cafés and shops around town, KDLT News reported
“They want to have contact with us,” Sergeant Ryan Flogstad told the station. “I always leave with a very positive attitude because we've gotten to sit and talk and just share stories back and forth.”
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