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Two Resign From Tea Police Department

November 9, 2012, 6:05 PM by Don Jorgensen

Two Resign From Tea Police Department
TEA, SD -

The city of Tea is without a police chief and one other officer. Chief Brian Ketterhagen and Officer James Klimple unexpectedly resigned Monday during a closed executive session of the Tea City Council.

There's no word on what led up to the resignations, but it's not the first time Tea has had problems with law enforcement officers.  In fact, history will show you the Tea Police Department has spent a lot of its time policing itself.

By most accounts, Tea is a quiet bedroom community with very little history of crime. But still, some wonder what it's going to mean to the town and its safety after losing two of its six police officers.

"It's got to have some kind of impact on the town, any small town losing two officers with only six, that's got to be a big shock to the town itself," Sports Page Bar Manager Brian Rubin said.

Others say Tea does a good job policing itself.

"Tea is not that big.  We're not violent here.  We don't need as many people, kind of take care of our own," resident Jeremy Davis said.

The Chief of Police position has made headlines more than once. In 1983, then Tea Police Chief Edward McDowell persuaded Darlene Plucker, the woman he had been having an affair with, to shoot and kill his wife.

Then in 2010, Tea's Chief of Police Ken Haugen unexpectedly resigned when the town began looking at turning over law enforcement duties to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

But the most recent resignations leave a town shorthanded and with a lot of questions.

"It's kind of strange though; it's close enough to Sioux Falls where you still get some of Sioux Falls' problems I'm guessing.  But yet it's Tea, still a small little community," Rubin said.

Assistant Chief Brian Tvedt is temporarily acting as chief as the city looks for a successor.  Ketterhagen had served as police chief for a little more than two years.

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