Richard Two Two has had many titles already during his young life. He’s been called son, brother, student, husband, dad, corrections officer and more. But, recently he added another title to that list — one he wears with humble acknowledgment of the responsibility it holds: Chief of Police in the small town of Kimball, SD.
The journey to reaching this Chief of Police position wasn’t one that was always on Richard’s radar. However, life can often have a way of leading people where they should be. Richard’s journey has brought him this opportunity, and he seized it.
“Initially, I was honestly a little nervous,” said Richard. “Everyone close to me is really excited and proud of me. I just want to do a good job.”
Richard, a St. Joseph’s Indian School alum, attended school here in grades first through eighth and again in ninth and tenth grades. He and his wife, Danielle, a fellow St. Joseph’s alum, lived outside of Chamberlain for a few years, but recently moved back to the area. That’s when Richard, who has an older brother in law enforcement, was inspired to go into the same field.
“I saw that the county jail was hiring for a corrections officer. My brother Beau is a BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) corrections officer in Pine Ridge, where I’m originally from, and he had told me he enjoyed it. I thought I’d try it and see if it was a good fit for me,” he said.
And it was. Richard realized relatively quickly how much he enjoyed working in law enforcement and how collaborative it is. Being a part of a team, where everyone is respectful and helpful to one another, fed his desire to go further into law enforcement.
Kimball is a small town approximately 20 miles east of Chamberlain. Historically, the town had a steady Chief of Police for many years — decades even; however, in recent years there has been some turnover in the position. When Richard saw a new chief was needed in the community, he went for it, and succeeded in obtaining the position.
“I’m still working very closely with the sheriff’s office and other deputies right now, but what I really want for this position is to have a more active presence in the community,” said Richard.
He begins his day at the Kimball school, watching traffic and making sure students are arriving safely. He then goes on patrol through the community and responds to any events of the day that require law enforcement — speeding and traffic violations, motor vehicle accidents, crime and property control, etc. It’s a role Richard takes seriously.
“I try my best at everything I do. I’m not any different once I put on the badge,” said Richard. “I want to be someone people can trust and talk to, and not be scared to bring things up with. I’m here to help.”
While it is believed that Richard is the first Native American to ever wear the badge of Chief of Police in Kimball, official documentation is not easily found to confirm that fact. Regardless, obtaining this position has been a big step for Richard, who partially credits St. Joseph’s for helping “keep him on the straight and narrow” during his childhood years.
Richard’s former houseparents, Aaron and Melissa Wisenbaugh, said watching Richard grow up and be successful has been amazing.
“I cannot fully express how proud I am of this young man being named Chief of Police,” said Aaron. “He is a very humble and amazing man and a great husband and father. Life has not been easy for him. However, with the relationships that can be formed here at St. Joe’s, some of our students can rise above the hardships to become amazing adults. I am excited for what the future holds for him and his family. Being able to be a part of Richard’s and Danielle’s life has made my life better. I hope to see many good things come their way.”
Moving forward, although Richard may begin to be more commonly known as “Chief” around the community, his most important title remains that of “Dad.” His children, Athena and Junior, are impressed by the position mostly because it means they can have nearly unlimited access to the “Little Officer” police badge stickers.
“They know I’m a cop, but that’s about the extent of it,” said Richard, laughing. “They thought wearing the badge stickers were really cool, though.”
St. Joseph’s Indian School is incredibly proud of Richard and all he has accomplished. To read more of our alumni success stories, please visit www.stjo.org/alumni today.