Our Mission Statement

These values guide the operation of the Department and the conduct of its members. These are our fundamental beliefs from which our agency sets policy, delivers services and implements programs. Values set standards for our members in executing their public safety duties. These values guide our actions.

Our Highest Priority is the Protection of Human Life. There is no more important priority to the Gettysburg Police Department than protection of human life. This belief is reflected in every aspect of police conduct. Our highest priority will always be the protection of human life. In violent situations, we are committed in using all reasonable means to prevent injury to the public.

We Believe that while Crime Prevention is our Principal Goal, we should Vigorously Pursue those who Commit Serious Crimes. The Department's primary focus must be crime prevention. However, when crimes do occur, the Department must react with vigorous law enforcement, moving aggressively toward arrest and prosecution of the perpetrator. Vigorous law enforcement is an important deterrent to serious crime.

We Treat Members of the Public with Respect and Dignity. We Maintain the Highest Levels of Integrity and Professionalism in all Actions. We will treat all those we serve in a compassionate, sensitive, courteous and professional manner, regardless of sex, race, lifestyle or reason for police contact. The integrity of the Department must not be compromised. There can be no question or suspicion among the citizenry regarding Department ethics. Professionalism requires impeccable conduct, careful protection of all citizens' rights and the maintenance of high levels of accountability from all members of the Department.

We Recognize that the Department Members are its Greatest Asset and Assume Responsibility to Treat Them Professionally and Support Their Professional Development. All Department members are entitled to respectful, fair and consistent treatment. In matters impacting member job satisfaction and effectiveness, we seek the input of our members and involve them in the decision-making process. The efforts of our members are the principal means by which the Department fulfills its mission and accomplishes its public service goals.

We are committed to Solving Neighborhood Problems. We Care about the Quality of Life in the City's Neighborhoods and Believe that our Services Must Answer their Needs. The Department will provide a rapid and effective response to life threatening situations and other public safety emergencies. Yet, we must seek new ways to address the contemporary neighborhood problems of crime, fear of crime, disorder, and physical and social decay. We are committed to providing a highly visible presence in all the City's neighborhoods.

We Maintain Open Communication with the Community We Serve. Their Input Helps to Determine Police Policies, Priorities and Strategies. The Department recognizes the need to collaborate with the public in order to reduce crime, disorder, fear and all those negative factors lessening the quality of life. We cannot effectively deal with these by ourselves. Through open communication, we strive to increase public understanding of law enforcement complexities, to ensure the certainty that Department priorities match community expectations, and to inform the public of the reasons for police actions.

We Believe That Policing Strategies Must Preserve and Advance Democratic Values. The Law enforcement officer in a democratic country must be the living expression of the values and potentialities of democracy. Police officers must, as a matter of course, know and use the most effective techniques for enforcing the law and maintaining order. Moreover, they must perform their duties in a manner that helps to preserve and extend the precious values of a democratic society. Thus, police must respect and protect the rights of all citizens as guaranteed by the States Constitution. These rights include the right to move throughout the City without fear, the right to be free of harassment and discrimination and the right to speak and/or demonstrate one's opinion in a lawful and orderly way.

Small Town Gettysburg, SD

The City of Gettysburg was platted in 1883 by Civil War veterans who traveled out to the Dakota Territory after the war had ended. Both Confederate and Union veterans made their way out west to Potter County and homesteaded. They named the town Gettysburg after the infamous battle to honor their fallen comrades and to acknowledge those men who had survived.

Being less than 20 miles away from the river had its advantages for the city. There was a large Cheyenne Agency on the other side of the Missouri River, where a lot of trading was done with the Native American peoples. The Medicine Rock, which can now be found in the Dakota Sunset Museum, was originally placed 15 miles west of town on a land plot. It was what would be considered a modern-day "tourist attraction" for trappers, traders, and soldiers who came out to Dakota Territory in the 1800's and 1900's.

Gettysburg, SD was incorporated into a City in 1907. Since then, many of the decedents who can trace their family tree back to the original settlers can still be found in town today.