Rapid City Police Department receives accolades on social media - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City Police Department receives accolades on social media after Amber Alert

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As a journalist, it's rare that you arrive at the scene of a crime while it's happening.  Usually, you'll get video of yellow crime scene tape or investigators walking around after-the-fact.

On Thursday, KOTA Territory News had the rare opportunity to see two babies rescued by Rapid City Police, and their accused captor put behind bars.  The response from viewers on social media has been, for the most part, incredible.

At last count nearly 71,000 people on Facebook viewed the photo of officers carrying the two babies.  More than 400 shared it and nearly 1,900 KOTA Facebook friends "liked" it.  It exploded online, and the response is that most people are proud of Rapid City Police Officers. "It's important to our Department members and us as an agency because we work everyday out in the field intervening in people's lives and trying to do the right thing and much of the feedback we get is negative," Rapid City Police Chief Steve Allender said.
 
For officer Kaia Carlson, seeing that the babies were okay was the highlight of her young career. "My biggest fear that day at work was not being able to find them in good condition, so when I got to pick up that little baby and carry her and comfort her, it was the most rewarding 
thing I've done in the last five years of this career," She said
 
Senior Officer Joe Bittner says rewards like this make the hard days worth it.  "We had know idea what we were coming into based on the information we had at the time, so when I saw them lying on the bed it was a great feeling," Bittner said. And of course Bittner and Carlson are quick to say this was a team effort.

Journalist Nabil Remadna and I (Katy Urban) were there to witness it all, and to share it with viewers.  Chief Allender says it's this outpouring of support from community members that encourages the men and women who protect and serve Rapid City.  "It's a good reminder that there are really people out there that support what we do," Chief Allender said.
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