Tea's mayor says police force still strong despite resignations - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Tea's mayor says police force still strong despite resignations

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Tea's mayor speaks out against the recent publicity surrounding the resignation of the town's police chief.

Mayor John Lawler said they are in the process of having some turnover but they are moving forward.

KSFY News sat down with the mayor this afternoon.

It can be reassuring to know the police are there when you need them

"We still have a very solid law enforcement department. We still have 24-hour protection. The community is safe. we haven't jeopardized the safety of the community one ounce during this whole process," Lawler said.

Despite Brian Ketterhagen's recent resignation and Wyoming lawsuit,  Tea's mayor gives the chief some good credit.

"Brian did a good job as far as getting us up to speed in certain areas where we were lacking within our department. The investigative side and then just procedures and polices. we've got a lot of good things still in place," Lawler said.

With no calls or complaints, Mayor Lawler says the people who live in Tea know other officers will pick up the slack.

"Our assistant chief of police Brian Tvedt, our interim, our acting chief at this point, and Brian does a great job. He's picked right up and helped out where we needed help and we're operating just fine," Lawler said.

Lawler said Ketterhagen's Wyoming lawsuit, the firing of his predecessor, and an embezzlement case with Tea's fire department treasurer is not a reflection on the town of Tea.

They are not a reflection of the city or community.  It's decisions people that have made and choices they've made on their own. I  think for the people involved, in the community that live there, I think they understand that," Lawler said.

As the search begins for a new chief, the town is ready to move on.

Tea's mayor says the city would like to fill the positions as soon as possible but admits it could take some time.

The town is considering different options in the meantime.

One idea is to hire Lincoln County officers looking to pick up some part-time work.

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