BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – Brookings has a new police chief who hails all the way from New York State. Michael Drake joined the Brookings Police Department just two weeks ago.

His picture may not be on the wall just yet in the Brookings Police Station, but Drake has already been busy in his new title as chief.

“I’m trying to meet as many people as I possibly can within the department and within the community — community groups, business leaders, non-profits, individual community members and neighbors and those folks, plus department members,” Drake said.

Drake is from the Hudson Valley area of New York State with almost 30 years of experience on the police force.

“I started out as a local dispatcher in my hometown, putting myself through college, working midnights in my local police department,” Drake said. “Being a volunteer fireman in my local town, an emergency medical technician. Then I was a local police officer for almost a year in a small village in upstate New York. Then becoming a New York State Trooper.”

He says Brookings is the perfect place for his family’s next chapter of life.

“Brookings is what we’re used to, believe it or not,” Drake said. “We’re from a smaller town, very rural, agricultural and coming here and meeting the people, that’s what made it so right, made the fit so correct for my wife and I and my family.”

Drake says he’s not looking to change everything around in the Brookings Police Department, but rather usher it into the future.

“This department, the men and women that come here, the sworn and the non-sworn, have done a great job. I’m just hoping that I can live up to that expectation and legacy that’s already been brought to Brookings,” Drake said. “And over the next few years, be able to bring us into that 21st century policing by working with the department and the community.”

He’s also looking forward to being in Jackrabbit territory.

“I have two boys that are in college right now so I know what parents are looking for. They want safety for their children and I don’t use that term lightly,” Drake said. “I’m going to work with the sheriff’s department and with the university police department to ensure that’s happening. It’s thrilling to be a part of a university city.”

Drake’s wife is a registered nurse and both of their sons are going to college at New York State. He says he’s also a big fan of soccer.