Sheriff's Office, Commission name Reitzel chief deputy, patrol deputy position still vacant

The opening comes as Harr describes the Davison County Jail as "stuffed" on most days, admitting that the jail had to turn away an incoming inmate over the weekend.

Tim Reitzel.jpg
Tim Reitzel, left, and The Honorable Patrick Smith, right, shake hands and pose for a photo after Reitzel is sworn in as Davison County's newest chief deputy at the Davison County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, Sept. 28. (Hunter Dunteman / Mitchell Republic)

The Davison County Sheriff's Office has sworn in a new chief deputy Tuesday after the sheriff's recommendation to promote from within passed the county commission unanimously.

The Davison County Commission voted 4-0 Tuesday morning to promote Tim Reitzel to the position of chief deputy of the Davison County Sheriff's Office.

According to Davison County Sheriff Steve Harr, five candidates were interviewed for the chief deputy position — two locals and three from out-of-state. Voting members who interviewed the candidates had a "unanimous decision" to tap Reitzel.

"Tim has been with us for 15 years. He's served as a corrections officer, a civil deputy, a deputy," Harr said at the commission meeting. "He's done a great job, and I don't expect anything less out of this."

Reitzel said he's been watching the culture that Harr has instilled into the sheriff's office since Harr was named acting sheriff in April, and is glad to be a part of continuing it.


"In the last couple months, I’ve seen what Sheriff Harr has done with the office and I’m really excited to be a part of that," Reitzel said.

Harr pointed out that Reitzel is ready for the increased responsibility the new title brings, pointing out that Reitzel has recently attended a variety of new trainings including detective trainings and leadership school.

"I believe he's ready for the role," Harr said.

The chief deputy is the deputy in charge in the absence of the sheriff, both on the patrol and jail side of policework. Harr said the only person in the sheriff's office who doesn't answer to Reitzel is Harr, himself.

Promoting from within is something the Davison County Sheriff's Office has seemingly focused on as of late.

After former Sheriff Steve Brink retired, then-Chief Deputy Harr was promoted to interim sheriff. The county commission decided to omit the interim tag after vetting a field of eight serious candidates.

Now, by promoting Reitzel from within, Harr is left with an opening for a deputy.

Harr teased the commission with the potential option for a court deputy to step into the role of deputy, but — even if that plan works — the sheriff's office would still be down a body.


The opening comes as Harr describes the Davison County Jail as "stuffed" on most days, admitting that the jail had to turn away an incoming inmate over the weekend.

"A t rooper brought in an out-of-county warrant the other night and the jail had to say no because they didn't have a bed," Harr said, noting that some days aren't quite at full capacity.

The commission granted Harr an undetermined period of time to fill the position on his own, noting that the commission is willing to approve monies to advertise and cast a wider net for potential candidates.

Salary negotiations for Reitzel were deferred to a later date to allow the commission and sheriff's office to reach a fair wage.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTS
A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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