Lincoln, NE Police Chief inquiry includes input from the Public, a National Search and recognizing Experience and Diversity

Sioux Falls is often compared to Lincoln due to similarities in size (they have about 100K more people). Recently they started a search for a new police chief. The first thing they did was engage the public before the search even started asking them in a public forum what they wanted in a new chief. They also performed a National search in which 3 of the 4 finalists come from other states, and only one candidate is internal (currently a retired Captain from the force). They also have tons of experience (Between 20-30 years) and notice that TWO are women and THREE are minority.

I’m not saying Sioux Falls should do identical to what Lincoln did, but it is obvious they put a little effort into it, instead of turning on the cruise control. Often when I am critical of our city government I will bring up openness, ethics and competency. This contrast between Lincoln and Sioux Falls blatantly shows how we have a ‘go it alone’ attitude instead of learning from other communities. One of the reasons we send our elected officials to national governing conferences is to learn from other communities (and I am NOT talking about that right-winger conference Neitzert went to) I’m talking about non-partisan events like National League of Cities.

The contrast between how Lincoln did this and how we did this is startling, and frankly pretty embarrassing.


#1 Very Stable Genius on 06.16.21 at 9:23 pm

Sioux Falls is the smallest city in America, or the largest town in America. It depends on how you want to see it, but regardless, this reality still feeds a closed mentality as to what we really are, what we are becoming, and what we need.

Both of the SF candidates for police chief recently spoke of youth violence in this town (city) as a number one priority.

Well, much of this given violence happens due to struggles between rivaling gangs or groups, who are often minorities struggling to gain or maintain a given territory.

Yet, the answer to this problem, according to our mayor, is apparently to hire one of two white local candidates as the next Sioux Falls police chief.

Go figure.

#2 Clayton Bigsby on 06.16.21 at 10:34 pm

“Gangs or groups who are often minorities”

Wow Scott you got some Very Stable Not So Subtle Racist readers.

#3 "Woodstock" on 06.17.21 at 12:33 am

“The problem is that those south of 57th Street want to maintain white control”…. “They’re still not ready for any kind of Obama leadership”…. “Even their white SUVs out number their black ones”…. “The only thing of color they like down there are their taupe homes”…. #Taupeville

#4 D@ily Spin on 06.17.21 at 10:52 am

Lincoln seems focused on minorities or women. To me education, experience, and promoting from within are priorities. If there are no race or sex card applicants, so be it. Not George Floyd nor George Jones. Who has a plan for controlling crime?

#5 Mike Lee Zitterich on 06.17.21 at 5:47 pm

wow…take a topic and turn it into a racial issue, Sioux Falls is a great c ity, and the Mayor does a great job at finding great people to help govern the city. I think the two candidates are great picks, and will do fine. I do not want some “Foreign Person” from one of the other 49 states coming here to rape us of our sovereignty.

#6 l3wis on 06.17.21 at 7:11 pm

I didn’t know the police chief was capable of doing that? I was unaware Sioux Falls was on the Rez, I thought we lived in America

#7 Very Stable Genius on 06.17.21 at 8:04 pm


My comment was not racist, but I would like to know your position on quotation marks, however.

#8 scott on 06.17.21 at 9:33 pm

it’s pretty funny mike z doesn’t want any “foreign person” coming from outside south dakota to rape us of our sovereignty, considering ten taken is a “foreigner” from another state.

#9 "Woodstock" on 06.17.21 at 11:11 pm

“Ya, he’s from the state of Taupeville, where Iowa law doesn’t apply”… #WhereInTheHellAreTheVotingBoxes?

#10 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 06.17.21 at 11:25 pm

I am currently working on a project, where I am taking Mike’s comments and turning them into rap lyrics. This rape sovereignty comment will be very useful. I also think the title of my first album will be: ‘Foreign Person’. I thought ‘Foreigner’, but I don’t want to be sued, or asked to perform at a pawnshop “someday”. Come on Mike, give me some more. Wait a minute, that would be a good line, too. And you know what DaBaby says: “…. go put some cheese on it”…

#11 D@ily Spin on 06.18.21 at 9:28 am

“Sovereignty”, try Oligarchy. Police chief must not be political, racial, or sexist. What’s important is a leader focused on crime and public safety. A military general type without stars. Someone who looks out for all and not just the ruling upper class.

#12 Mike Zitterich on 06.18.21 at 11:23 am

You do understand that POLICE is mostly funded by “License Fees” paid for by the Commercial Businesses. This means, that your businesses are self funded by the very people who do business within the City.

“A city is a large human settlement. It can be defined as a permanent and densely settled place with administratively defined boundaries whose members work primarily on non-agricultural tasks. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, production of goods, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organisations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process, such as improving efficiency of goods and service distribution.”

IT has been common acceptance, that the Business Community pays for, and funds the Local Police in order to protect the commercial interests of the town, of which the total residency benefit from in order to keep them safe. IT has been this way since the “OLD WEST DAYS”.

Therefore, the very people who pay the license fees, are the very people whom have a vested interest in nominating a police chief, therefore, they choose to select someone from within the community, let alone from the best and honest of the many Policeman.

#13 l3wis on 06.18.21 at 11:59 am

Mike you are partially correct, the 1st penny sales tax pays all police wages and benefits

#14 Taxpayers Unite on 06.18.21 at 12:10 pm

The business community does not pay all of the 1st penny it pays a small portion of it. Business only collects the taxes we pay in their businesses.

#15 Further Fear & Loathing on 06.18.21 at 2:31 pm

Is there an echo in here?

#16 Erica on 06.18.21 at 8:33 pm

Sioux Falls did the correct thing by staying with hiring from within the great force we already have here.

#17 How do you know? on 06.20.21 at 9:16 am

#16 Erica what insider information do you have to prove your point? The police department has no internal review or audit process. The police department maintains no real time records for the public to review. There are only incident numbers given to the public IF the police personnel decide to admit they were at the location of the “incident”. The Sioux Falls police department must be led by someone who has experienced the real world. If these young white christian men are so good, they should apply to be a chief in a community with lower standards than Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls has a few in shape, bright officers who are trying. Our upper management of the police department are lazy, corrupt and running out the clock to retirement on their bloated pensions, this is why they did not make to the finals of this rigged process.

#18 How do you know? on 06.20.21 at 9:51 am

#16 Erica, you should take a moment to take the words of the ex-official of the Board of Regents who was fired because he tried to bring fresh ideas to South Dakota

“Beran isn’t from South Dakota and he no longer lives there. He was let go from the Board of Regents after less than two years, and he thinks he might know why.

“They’re really not friendly to outside ideas,” he said. “They’re limited because, frankly, people in the state, the board, they don’t want to hear about or discuss, or have anything brought up about equities of different people”

Beran was replaced by the Sioux Falls School bond scammer who was willing to play the insider get rich by dubious means games. 80% voting tabulated by a questionable method after a few voters were allowed to show up, raised your taxes is a business as usual going back to Pettigrew. Why change now? All the players a to the get rich trough keep doing the same things. An outsider will only screw it up.

#19 Erica on 06.20.21 at 3:35 pm

HDYK, put your $$ where your mouth is and join the force. You even stating that these “young white christian men” shows your racism. You only see their skin color & gender and not even their experience working right here in Sioux Falls.

Grow up.

#20 Very Stable Genius on 06.20.21 at 10:50 pm

But when it comes to policing and our overall criminal justice system, race is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. So why shouldn’t we be cognizant of race, racial policies, and the racial climate of our city, state, and country, when considering who will police us, how they will police us, and whether they will police equitably? And for those who are offended by my gorilla analogy, well, then replace it with a reference to a white stallion, if you must, or a chameleon who is all colors to make you happy.

#21 l3wis on 06.21.21 at 7:16 pm

You gotta hand it to SF finest. Tonight while I was riding my bike by a youth BAseball game, only a 100 feet from the ports potti a kid who was about 12 years in uniform had his wang hanging out pissing by the trail, as I rode by I told him to knock it off, and he laughed and kept peeing while an officer on an ATV looked on and when I pointed to the kid, the officer turned his head and kept talking to a parent. What did I tell you about youth sports? If that would have been a drunk transient there would have been 3 cop cars there in minutes. I should have took a picture of the officer looking the other way. Oh and if anyone from the PD is reading this it was at Cherry Rick park at around 6:30

#22 The Guy From Guernsey on 06.21.21 at 10:15 pm

The 800 lb gorilla an entirely proper reference for a weghty topic which no one wants to address.
Juneteenth celebrates the date upon which Union soldiers, acting on the orders of a Republican President informed slaves in Galveston, TX of their emanipation from mostly Democrat racist slave-holders.
Somehow approriate that a feeble attempt to straddle this proper reference into a race baiting double entre’ is offered by a Democrat on the weekend of the first official celebration of Juneteenth as a national holiday.
Not withstanding that neither color nor race should matter, to Dems these issues must be sustained and promulgated. Else what they got?

#23 LJL on 06.22.21 at 10:08 pm

Only a racist would notice skin colors these days!

Good luck with that.

#24 Very Stable Genius on 06.23.21 at 3:59 pm

Got milk? And what about honey, too? They are all a part of the promised land, but neither can be a product of fiat. Even Dr. King acknowledged that to be color blind was a goal and not yet a reality, and sadly even to this day. Just ask George Floyd’s family. If you take race out of the George Floyd tragedy for instance, then what do you got? You still have a murder, but does it not make it harder to resolve and prevent in the future if you don’t recognize the true motive, or what some might call the gorilla in the room?