SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota will have a familiar face back in the attorney general’s office come January.
Marty Jackley was the only candidate for the position on the ballot last week.
He easily took back the role and will once again serve as the state’s top law enforcement officer, a position he held for 10 years.
KELOLAND News asked attorney general-elect Jackley what his focus will be and how it differs from when he was in the position before. He says one of his priorities is to work and build stronger relationships with local law enforcement.
Jackley says South Dakota has seen an increase in violent and addiction-related crimes.
“There’s always been an emphasis within the DCI of violent crime. Certainly working the general crimes and then addictions. I think now more than ever that focus needs to also include addressing methamphetamine through prevention, focus on treatment, as well as the drug dealers. Those that are bringing in the poison into our state to make sure we’re focused on catching them and holding them accountable,” Jackley said.
With the number of officer-involved shootings in the state this year, Jackley says focusing on training for officers is vital.
“I think it’s important to be transparent to make sure that we’re able to do our due diligence in the investigation but to release our findings like we always have within 30 days to the public, so that the public can trust that law enforcement is doing its job, and if there is an instance when we are not, then we need to address that, and there’s also training opportunities to study those officer-involved shootings, so again as we prepare our officers, we can make sure we’ve done everything we can to protect them and make them safe in the field, as well as the public,” he said.
And with all the attorney general’s office has been through the past couple years involving Jason Ravnsborg’s impeachment, Jackley wants to make sure the office carries out its duties.
“We have strong agents in the field, strong assistant attorney generals, so my plan is, again, to work with local law enforcement, work with state’s attorneys to be a valuable part of that team to focus on the basics, to solve crime and to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect our citizens on the streets,” he said.
Jackley says the transition has been smooth so far and interim attorney general Mark Vargo has been easy to work with.
It was announced Monday that Jackley has chosen Dan Satterlee as the new director of South Dakota’s DCI. You can read that story from Bob Mercer here.