SD Cabinet Secretary of Public Safety speaks in Redfield
By Shiloh Appel
On Wednesday, January 8th, Craig Price, Cabinet Secretary of Public Safety for the state of South Dakota, came to Redfield to speak to the local Kiwanis club about his department’s activities. Price, who is a Redfield native, has also served in law enforcement in several positions, including Superintendent of the SD Highway Patrol, Assistant Director of the SD Division of Criminal Investigation and time as a state trooper.
Price also took some time after visiting with the Redfield Kiwanis Club to visit with the Redfield Press.
“Really, what we are trying to do is go around the state and answer questions that people might have for our department,” said Price. “There are a lot of opportunities that folks in Pierre [have] that are really in tune with government operations that are probably aware of what we do and where we are at, but we thought there has got to be a way to get the message out to all citizens of South Dakota about what some of the departments are and what they do.”
Price went on to describe the many facets of the Department of Public Safety. With a 72 million dollar budget, the department has just under 430 full-time employees spread throughout South Dakota.
“Probably the most visible agency that we have in DPS is the South Dakota Highway Patrol,” said Price. “I am a career law enforcement guy, and this is what my whole career has been. But there is a lot of other departments or programs in DPS that people might not know about. We have the Division of Emergency services, which includes the office of Emergency Management. If there is a disaster, tornado, a flood, or any other type of emergency event in Redfield or Spink County, your emergency manager here would have the ability to work with our state emergency management office and we can help coordinate the response to that emergency and help get resources to your local community so you can get back up on your feet.”
Price also described the purpose of the office of Homeland Security in the Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Services Division. The Homeland Security office was established after the September 11th, 2001 attack. Price said the department’s state director and staff distribute federal grant dollars to different areas in the state where requests for assistance have been made.
“To help them better prepare for some type of event that might be related to homeland security,” said Price. “They pay attention. That office closely watches things that are going on across the United States and across the globe and if there is any information that might be a threat to our citizens in South Dakota, that office watches that information, becomes aware of it, and passes it on so that we can make sure the right people are aware of the right information so we can best protect ourselves.”
Price also described the roles of the State Fire Marshal, the state victim services offices, state drivers licensing program, the office of weights and measures, and more.
“A real exciting thing here in Redfield — I am going to go down to the Auditor’s office here …They are helping out a little bit with issuing drivers licenses. So I am going to go meet with the auditor and thank them for that,” said Price.
For more information on the Department of Public Safety and what they provide, visit https://dps.sd.gov.