Heightened security continues at the South Dakota Capitol

June 3, 2020

PIERRE, S.D.–South Dakota’s Capital City was quiet Tuesday night but local, state, and military police were at the ready should things change.

A peaceful protest held Monday in Pierre saw the largest law enforcement presence many in the central South Dakota community have ever witnessed. State and local officers were augmented by members of the 235th Military Police, a specialized unit of the South Dakota National Guard.

The exact number of combined personnel deployed has not been released, but dozens of small units were observed all over Pierre and Fort Pierre, some in military vehicles and others in unmarked police units.

The scene was dramatically de-escalated by Tuesday but a contingent of Military Police and State Troopers still walked the Capitol grounds and adjacent Governor’s residence throughout Tuesday night.

By all appearances the heightened security isn’t going anywhere for some time yet. Fire extinguishers and counter-riot supplies were pre-positioned at key locations in and around the Capitol Building itself and members of the Highway Patrol’s elite ‘Alpha Team’ kept close eye on state property.

Local police and sheriff’s deputies in Pierre and Fort Pierre returned to more routine duties Tuesday but also say they are prepared to mobilize quickly if necessary.

PHOTO: Soldiers of the 235th Military Police, SDNG patrol the grounds of the State Capitol in Pierre Monday evening. Similar units were observed Tuesday night but in lesser numbers.