Faces in the Crowd: Dan Wardle
After 15 years with the PCSO, Sgt. Dan Wardle is retiring and is taking his expertise to a new position.
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Sgt. Wardle has spent many years protecting people. He went into the Air Forces straight out of high school, then spent years in security and pursued law enforcement. When he moved to the Black Hills, he took a job as a correctional officer at the Pennington Country Jail and a reserve officer with the Box Elder Police Department, eventually working full time for the PD before switching back to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office 15 years ago.
Sgt. Wardle says, “I liked serving in the community that’s always been important to me. My father was a New Jersey state trooper, so I always had a respect for the profession.”
His passion for protecting the innocent is what makes the tough days, supervising sex crimes and child abuse cases, worth it.
“It’s difficult. Really, … it’s the worst thing that you can do to another person without killing them, says Wardle. “It’s a big responsibility to try and hold that offender accountable. We do the best we can with each of the cases we get and we’re successful quite often. Both when I was doing it and for the folks that are currently assigned to that – they do a good job and they always keep the victim in mind.”
He says he will miss the daily challenges his job brings – when crisis strikes – and the feeling of success afterwards, saying, “I would say just overall getting the opportunity to work on cases that involve that child victims, trying to get some justice and accountability for what happened to that child and to prevent it from happening to another child.”
With 25 years in law enforcement preceded by ten years as military security police, Dan is hanging up his gun to take on a new role with the Children’s Home Society in the Child Advocacy Center. He’s happy to still be working with an organization that helps children.
“It was important for me to be able to continue in a different role, but stay in that same overall genre of child protection.”
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