Rapid City Council confirms new police chief
RAPID CITY (AP) — Rapid City's new police chief says he hopes his swift confirmation will end the controversy surrounding the City Council's rejection of the mayor's first choice for the job.
The council on Monday unanimously made Interim Chief Karl Jegeris the permanent replacement for Steve Allender, who recently retired as chief after three decades in law enforcement.
The council last week had rejected Lt. Elias Diaz for the chief's job, citing a lack of experience, a flawed selection process and a lack of transparency on behalf of Mayor Sam Kooiker in choosing who he felt was the right candidate.
"Now that that distraction is behind us, I'm looking forward to the future as we work together," Jegeris said.
Kooiker said he believes the process worked and that he's "very excited about moving forward."
Jegeris joined the Rapid City force in 1995 and has served as a patrol officer, a school liaison officer, a juvenile detective, juvenile sergeant, patrol lieutenant and patrol captain. He became assistant chief in 2012.
Jegeris is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and has a bachelor's degree in law enforcement from Mankato State University in Minnesota. He is pursuing a master's degree in public safety executive leadership from St. Cloud State University, also in Minnesota.
As Rapid City's chief, he will oversee a departmental budget of about $12.5 million and lead 153 employees, 119 of whom are sworn officers.