Sioux Falls City Council approves Lt. Jon Thum as new police chief with unanimous vote

Local News

Correction: A previous version of this report stated that Thum has been an adjunct professor at the University of Sioux Falls; this has been corrected to state that he has been an adjunct instructor.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Lt. Jon Thum with the Sioux Falls Police Department will officially soon be its chief. On Tuesday night the Sioux Falls City Council considered Mayor Paul TenHaken’s appointment of Thum to be the next chief. Current Chief Matt Burns is retiring; his last day as chief is July 23.

“When we were going through the interview process, I asked the question that I think a lot of people would ask, and that’s why do you want to do this, why do you want this job,” TenHaken said. “And for Lieutenant Thum, his answer was one of, it’s a calling, because it’s my responsibility to step up and do this and to serve.”

“We have an outstanding community, and we have challenges ahead, however,” Thum said. “There will be peaks and valleys, there will be ups and downs. But with an outstanding police force that I believe is second to none and a community additionally that is second to none, I know these are challenges we can face moving forward. So I thank you for your consideration.”

Beth O’Toole, criminal justice professor at the University of Sioux Falls where Thum has been an adjunct instructor, was at Carnegie Town Hall on Tuesday night.

“He’s ready for the challenges ahead, and I’m delighted to add my voice to the chorus of support for our next police chief in the City of Sioux Falls,” O’Toole said.

“I’m extremely sad to see Burns go, it’s exciting also for the next generation of leaders in our community as we move forward,” councilor Christine Erickson said. “So Burns thank you for your service and investment in this community.”

In the end, the council gave unanimous consent to TenHaken’s appointment of Thum.

“I’ve just came away very impressed with our visit and your experience, and I think that you would do a fantastic job, so I wish you nothing but the best,” councilor Marshall Selberg said.

“Lieutenant Jon Thum is the right person at the right time to be the next leader of our police force,” councilor Greg Neitzert said.

“I look forward to the vision that you have for the city, for the improvements that you would like to implement for the City of Sioux Falls,” councilor Rick Kiley said.

Per the mayor’s office, Thum’s first day as chief is going to be July 26.

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