Concerned Rapid Valley Elementary School parents pack meeting ab - KOTA Territory News

Concerned Rapid Valley Elementary School parents pack meeting about sex offender


From the minute the Department of Corrections declared Michael Pigney, 51, an at risk offender, his picture spread on social media, and the Rapid City community went on guard.  

On Monday night, the Pennington County Sheriff's Office held a meeting to answer questions and fears associated with Pigney, who recently moved to Leroy Street, near Rapid Valley Elementary School.         

Hundreds of parents packed into Rapid Valley Elementary School to ask questions and express their concern about Pigney living so close to the school. Amy Sazue is a parent with four kids. One of her kids goes to Rapid Valley Elementary School. So she was very interested in attending the meeting.  

" I've talked to my kids, I just wanted to make sure the awareness was spread through the community not just at my home," said Sazue.

Parents had the opportunity to ask school administrators and officers from the Pennington County Sheriff's Department any questions they had about sex offender Michael Pigney living so close to the school.  

"I really do feel that we answered a lot of questions and again not everybody liked all of the answers because some things are just bound by State law and we have no control beyond that. But I think it helped dispel some of the misinformation that's out there and I think that's healthy," said Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom.

Some parents thought the 500 foot safe zone buffer should be expanded, others wanted to know what is being done to ensure their child's safety.  

"The schools have already raised their awareness, we've put our resources out here. Like I said before we have a finite amount of resources and a lot of schools. So some of that falls on the parents, some of that falls on us, some of that falls on the schools," said sheriff Thom.

Sazue added this particular situation really hits home.  

"I'm also a Head Start teacher and I work with three to five year olds and that it was a four year old just drove it home. You just want the awareness out there," said Sazue.

Sheriff Thom said to their knowledge Pigney has done nothing to violate the law. Thom said his department did offer some follow up training on recognizing and preventing child sexual abuse. They are going to do that within the next few weeks.  

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