A longtime member of the South Dakota Highway Patrol will soon retire. Captain Kevin Joffer is the Sioux Falls district commander and plans to retire in January. KELOLAND News caught up with the Captain to talk about what it's been like to serve the public for almost 35 years.
Over the years, 53-year-old Captain Kevin Joffer has worn lots of patches on his uniform. He also wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to the passion of his job.
"Probably most proud of being able to serve the citizens of South Dakota. Law enforcement is a tough job and sometimes our contacts are negative, especially when you take people to jail, but I've also seen the fruits of what we do," Joffer said.
As district commander, Joffer was in charge of 55 troopers in 25 counties for the last seven and a half years. While there are tough times, Joffer says he always knew he wanted to be a highway patrolman.
Joffer says his biggest priority, and he believes it to be true for all troopers, is to keep people safe.
"There are so many rewards to this job. It comes with negative experiences, but trying to help your fellow man; trying to keep the state safe, not only for our citizens, but the citizens who visit our state," Joffer said.
That includes keeping drunk drivers off the road.
"We try to do what we can because we deal with these people when we have to go deliver death messages. It's one of the hardest things you can do," Joffer said.
Lt. Alan Welsh will replace Joffer as district commander; when that happens, Joffer says he'll leave with no regrets.
"I hope that when I leave this commander's position, I just hope I did the best job I could while I was here," Joffer said.
Joffer says he has no big plans for retirement. He'd still like to work part time in law enforcement somewhere. His last day on the job will be January 8.