RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender recently came back from Washington D.C. following a roundtable discussion with the President.
Mayor Allender was selected to participate in the discussion because of his background with the Rapid City Police, as a former officer and former police chief.
“I made a quick trip there, went down yesterday morning, came back late last night. Myself and about seven other individuals from around the country had a 90 minute meeting with President Biden,” Mayor Allender said.
At the meeting, Allender says he shared how Rapid City approaches crime with a variety of community based intervention programs.
“It focuses on identifying offenders, confronting them, partnering with them and mentoring them prior to them committing crimes,” Mayor Allender said.
However, Allender says he understands Rapid City is on a much different sized scale.
Chief of Police Don Hedrick joined the mayor at today’s briefing to talk about the specific programs and next steps for how law enforcement handles crime in the city.
“Not only are we using traditional law enforcement means but we are also taking the time to build that community engagement out, to build trust in neighborhoods and maybe just acknowledging that some of the issues we are facing locally are bigger than the police alone,” Chief Hedrick said.
Mayor Allender and Chief Hedrick hope Rapid City will be able to serve as a model for other smaller cities in the nation.
Over the next 18 months, the Biden Administration will convene meetings with officials from several communities, including Rapid City, for peer-to-peer learning and technical assistance.