Rapid City police chief announces retirement - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City police chief announces retirement


"I'm handing off the baton to a faster runner."

Rapid City Police Chief Steve Allender announced his retirement Tuesday, effective May 30. It means the end of a law enforcement career spanning 30 years.

He started his law enforcement career as a reserve police officer in late 1982 with the Belle Fourche Police Department. He accepted a full time position with the same department starting Jan. 1, 1984. Allender attended the police academy that year and just a year and a half later moved 50 miles to Rapid City, where he began as a patrol officer on May 28, 1985.

He spent the next 29 years as a patrol officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and police chief with Rapid City.

"I've had many career highlights and low points, successes and failures. As police chief, one of my top priorities was to connect with the community and attempt to humanize my position."

Allender said his lowest point came in 2011 with the shooting deaths of officers Nick Armstrong and Ryan McCandless. But ultimately, he said it resulted in a stronger relationship between the community and the police force. He said he can't attribute his decision to retire to one high or low point in his career, only that the timing was right.

So, what's next? 

"Everybody wants to know if I'm running for office. I just can't answer that question now.   My head is appropriately clouded from 29 years of hard work and being focused on one thing, one mission for all that time that I need a little clear air to figure out what's left in me and what my next move will be." 

Mayor Sam Kooiker will choose a replacement for Allender. The position will be posted for three weeks internally and externally.

Click here to watch the full interview:


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518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Telephone: 605.342.2000
Fax: 605.342.7305

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