What are your feelings on the Police Chief Barthel retiring and working for Sanford?


And I thought I was going to miss out on the free lunches in my retirement.

I’m not sure what to think of our Police Chief going to work for Sanford;

After more than 12 years on the job, Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel has announced his retirement.

Barthel made the announcement Wednesday at the police’s daily media briefing, with Mayor Mike Huether by his side.

Barthel has served as a police officer more than 30 years. He has spent 12 years as Chief, making him the second-longest serving Police Chief in the history of Sioux Falls.

Huether credits Barthel with making the department more transparent, as well as improving community relations.

Barthel says he has accepted a position with Sanford Health as director of community relations.

I missed the press conference, but I guess the mayor gave Barthel credit for basically covering up the increase in crime rates in our city during the last mayoral election campaign. I guess Huether’s version of transparency is being able to sucker the public about statistics to help his re-election campaign. Oh, and we also don’t have access to any evidence from the night of the Tuthill shooting incident. Thanks.

I had heard rumors that Barthel was considering this retirement after assistant chief Lyons announced hers, which is no surprise after 30 years of service, but I’m surprised he is getting such a high profile job. I’m sure his pension from the city is very nice, and I don’t have an issue with him working after retirement, but it almost seems like a golden parachute handed to him from the mayor and his buddies at Sanford and First Premier for being a good soldier (Huether likes to reward his loyalist boot lickers with substantial raises and other perks (on our dime), it’s evident who follows orders and who rocks the boat when you look at the salary increases for management over the past 5 years) Well at least this time, Sanford will be footing the bill.

It also gives Sanford an edge over Avera when dealing with city police issues having an insider on their team, smart move by them, ethically questionable move by Barthel, but hey, we don’t have any ethics rules for public service in this state so what can we do about it? Also, to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t even know what ethics he would be violating? (I guess it is kind of hard to come up with something when no standards exist to begin with).

I wonder if he will continue to get free meals?



#1 The Daily Spin on 08.05.15 at 2:02 pm

I’m fine with it. A private post is really up to the employer. SFPD needs fresh leadership. He’s done a good job but I’d like to see more attention for new problems. It’s not just coincidental that top echelon at the city comes from and returns to Sanford. It’s certainly obvious that this town and the population are subject to a godfather and families commission.

#2 Poly43 on 08.05.15 at 4:56 pm

The major reason barthel and many others are leaving the city is explained in this argus article from over a year ago.


Getting a $40 per year of service stipend each month for health insurance is a sweet deal. But not as sweet a deal as city retirees get who were hired before 1994, like barthel was. How does that sweetheart deal work? Well, when they retire, they add 100% of their unused sick leave at 100% of their closing hourly salary to their last years salary. Not only is that a pretty healthy retirement day bonus check, it turns out to be a real sweetheart deal in terms of monthly pension checks which are figured at about 60% of the last three years averaged salary. Heres a good example. Im just going to round these numbers off, for illustrative purposes, but the bottom line is still pretty close. steve metli. Remember him? Retired a while back with a hell of a golden parachute. Retired at about $120,000 a year. His unused sick leave came out to around $60,000. A nice sendoff check no doubt, but when added to his last years salary, that made his last three year average about $140,000 a year instead of $120,000. Now figure the guy gets about 60% a year pension of that total, and were starting to talk some serious cash. And when you consider how young these guys are when they “retire”, and we’re talking the gift that keeps on giving, decade after decade, all compliments of the SF taxpayer.

#3 teatime on 08.05.15 at 6:30 pm

Sounds like a savvy baby boomer taking advantage of his opportunities. Good luck to him.

#4 l3wis on 08.05.15 at 9:08 pm

Poly, think he will partake in the Lake Francis Case SFFD development plans 🙂

#5 Poly43 on 08.05.15 at 9:15 pm

Scott, I’d prolly partake in a lot of stuff if I retired from a SF city gig. But alas, I only retired from a federal job. Not nearly the sweetheart deal SF city management personnel pull away from taxpayers.

#6 scott on 08.06.15 at 6:33 am

and he’ll get at least 6 figures for a newly made up job that doesn’t really do anything.

#7 Karma on 08.06.15 at 9:33 am

Leadership within this department are bailing at a record rate. I can’t imagine why?