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Keith W. Christensen

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Keith W. Christensen was born on June 13, 1931 near Revillo, SD.  He served in the US Army from 1952 to 1954, having been stationed in Germany.  He started his career in law enforcement with the Sioux Falls, SD Police Department, where he was one of the first officers in South Dakota to have a K-9 unit: his partner was Stormy.  He was a highway patrolman for the South Dakota Highway Patrol for 20 years, having been stationed in Rapid City, Belle Fourche, Clark, Pierre and Vermillion.  He also worked for two years as a security officer with U.S. Marshall Service in Sioux Falls.  After his retirement, he moved the to the Christensen family farm near Hurley, SD and received his degree from The University of South Dakota.  He died on May 22, 2005 in Sioux Falls, SD.  Keith Christensen is the author of History of the South Dakota Highway Patrol with career stories by officers and wives.

History of the South Dakota Highway Patrol with Career Stories by Officers and Wives
Keith, ed. Christensen  More Info

About the South Dakota Highway Patrol

According to the South Dakota Highway Patrol, “In 1935, the Governor of South Dakota, Tom Berry, recognized the need for an organization to enforce the traffic laws and provide assistance to the motoring public.  Governor Berry appointed ten men that were known as the "Courtesy Patrol". These knights of the road were tasked with enforcing all the laws in South Dakota and helping to inform the public about the states emerging traffic regulations.   Each man was given a car, affectionately called a "milk wagon", a tow chain, a first aid kit, and a gallon of gasoline.  The new officers were assigned to patrol the 2,000 miles of hard surfaced roads and 4,000 miles of gravel highways.


Under the direction of fourteen governors and twelve superintendents, the men and women of the South Dakota Highway Patrol moved from a reactive organization to a proactive group of men and women who anticipate changes in highway safety and enforcement techniques.  The Patrol has matured into a professional law enforcement agency prepared to respond to the ever changing needs of the public it serves.  The 162 members of the Highway Patrol wear the uniform and badge with pride and distinction.”

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