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Rapid City law enforcement officer receives William J. Janklow Officer of the Year Award

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William J. Janklow Award

South Dakota Highway Patrol Service Dog Handler William Berry (not pictured) is the 2021 recipient of the William J. Janklow Award. 

A member of the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team in Rapid City won the 2021 William J. Janklow Officer of the Year Award, according to a news release from the Pennington County Sheriff's Offiice. 

South Dakota Highway Patrol Service Dog Handler William Berry was presented the award on Nov. 10 at the Law Enforcement Conference in Sioux Falls. 

"Berry’s accomplishments in 2021 were recognized and presented in front of approximately 1,500 attendees during the Law Enforcement Appreciation dinner," the release states. 

"The award recognizes a deserving officer that has gone above and beyond the call of duty and demonstrated an exemplary work ethic, community service, and bravery."

According to the nomination letter for the award, Berry was an integral part of a multijurisdictional long-term investigation which eventually resulted in the identification and disruption of a significant drug trafficking organization and one of the largest drug seizures from an investigation in South Dakota history.

"The target of the investigation was living in Rapid City and was involved in the distribution of large amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl coming from Mexico," the release states. 

"The investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 70 pounds of methamphetamine, 10 pounds of cocaine, 6 pounds of heroin, approximately 6,000 fentanyl pills, more than $175,000 in U.S. currency, and multiple vehicles and firearms."

The award nomination states, “The unprecedented quantities of illegal drugs, firearms, and assets seized during this investigation have impacted the street-level drug distribution activities and drug related violence perpetrated by users and sub-distributors; thus, keeping communities safe throughout the Western Region of South Dakota and beyond.

Berry's daily duties include conducting targeted traffic stops and confronting known violent, often armed drug traffickers and drug dealers.

"He has been involved in vehicle pursuits, foot pursuits, and even injured during these incidents," the release states. 

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