Faces in the Crowd: Abraham Wheeler
Abraham Wheeler has been training to be a deputy under the Air Force SkillBridge program; now he is ready to get to work with the Pennington County Sheriff's Office.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Deputy Abraham Wheeler is a soon-to-be-retired from the Air Force, having served 20 years in Security Forces, most of that time as a dog handler.
His transition into the Pennington Country Sheriff’s office seemed like a natural fit for him.
Wheeler says, “So as a kid, even watching Cops, I just loved what the cops did, they went out there help the community…the excitement of the job. So I went in the Air Force… [I] was going to do [it] for years, get a degree, and be a state trooper in Pennsylvania. I enjoyed the job so much. I had good, good deployments, good positions, so I did 20 years and I was going to give up the badge and do something else. But ]I] talked to the wife, and I can’t imagine life without a badge helping the community out and just have an impact in your local area.”
Wheeler has been training to be a deputy under the Air Force SkillBridge program, an opportunity for military members to participate in training with industry and employers who are seeking qualities in the participants skill sets.
Wheeler says, “You get 180 days you can use the Air Force still pays you and you can go out and do a civilian job, see if you like it; get your foot in the door just so you have an easier transition. And I was a cop in the Air Force, knew I always wanted a badge, so I just talked to the Sheriff’s Office and it was a good fit. And here we are today.”
And when a robbery situation hit close to home, Wheeler took matter in his own hands, considering his training and background. He ended up getting recognized by U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson.
“Yeah, I won an award, ‘Strengthening South Dakota.’ My wife now her house got broken into two times and I took a kind of personal. So myself and a couple of my guys I worked with on base took leave and we worked with the PD and went out and found the guys breaking into the houses. And actually the wife and I chased down and held until Rapid City PD showed up, and he’s still in jail,” says Wheeler.
Wheeler will continue to live out his passion protecting the county, saying, “I just love helping the community.”