BLACK HILLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office works to help keep people safe on land and on water.
While people are out enjoying the sunshine on Pactola Reservoir, deputies are making sure people are having fun in a safe way.
“Some days it’s pretty busy where we are checking on some things that shouldn’t be going on but for the most part everybody is pretty good and thankful that we are here,” said Deputy Don Lampert with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.
There are a few essentials people need to have when boating: the right number of life jackets, a floatation device and a fire extinguisher.
“I think it keeps people more aware that there is safety out here on the lake that is to be expected. And that in the event there is an issue whether it’s a potential drowning or somebody in trouble, where we can nip that in the butt before anybody does get hurt,” Lampert said.
Another popular activity in the Black Hills is riding UTVs. The sheriff’s office says they are able to patrol all popular trails.
“We go out on the trails, we are checking for compliance and safety for the UTVs and people that are on the trails. And generally, getting out in the public, this is an easy way for us to make contact out here outside of the patrol car. Makes us a little more accessible to the community,” said Deputy Baron Juhl with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.
The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office starts boat and UTV patrols at the beginning of the summer around Memorial Day. It continues through the rest of the summer.
“I also really enjoy driving around out here and getting to be a part of the community,” Juhl said.
During tourism season, more people visit the roads, trails, and lakes of the Black Hills. That can mean more incidents that draw the attention of law enforcement.