SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The first call of shots fired came in around 7:45 Wednesday morning. Initially, it was a couple of Sioux Falls Police Department officers calling for backup. It didn’t take long for help to arrive at the apartment complex near 45th and Western. Our cameras were there as the response unfolded, people arriving, getting equipment ready, and running into position.
“Any time there is something big like this, any law enforcement in the area is going to respond,” said police spokesman Sam Clemens. “So it’s a little unusual to have, you know, Game Fish and Parks come to something like this, Highway Patrol we see them help out sometimes from time to time, but you know, we had people in an apartment, somebody that was firing a gun at officers, we didn’t know what was going to take place, and so they are here to help.”
In this case, the Game Fish and Parks officer responded because he saw the need and was close by. The agency’s Deputy Chief Brandon Gust says the officer was there to provide backup.
“When we hear calls of any type of shooting where there are multiple people at risk or officers at risk, you know our officers being state certified officers we will respond to those situations just like any other law enforcement.,” said Gust.
Gust says for some, there is a misconception about GF&P officers, what they can do and the amount of training they have.
“Obviously we do the traditional conservation officer work or game warden work, but all of our officers go through the same training and standards that all state law enforcement do,” said Gust.
Gust says the 86 officers across South Dakota are highly equipped and often provide back up, especially in rural areas of the state.
Whether it’s the GF&P, the Sheriff’s Department or the Highway Patrol the police department says they all have one thing in common: keeping people safe.
“It’s resources we needed at the time, you can’t get too many resources too soon. Having those other agencies willing to step up and help out is a great addition,” said Clemens.