Police officers bond over North Rapid tragedy

They’re men and women in blue, through and through.

“Even though we didn’t know him personally, once we put on the badge and take that oath, we all become related,” said Grace Her Many Horses, Police Chief of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Police officers from across the nation came to pay their respects to a family member, Officer Ryan McCandless.

“It helps to get together” said Bob Grandpre,Pierre’s Police Chief.  “It’s part of how we deal with these things, we come together and that gives us strength.”

Others came to give strength to another family member whose life was also altered in Tuesday’s shooting.

“Officer Nick Armstrong who was also involved in this incident worked with us for 2 years prior to coming toRapid City,” said Lieutenant Boyd Dean of the Spearfish Department.

The shootout in North Rapid has touched many of these officers including those who are coping with a similar tragedy.

“A month ago roughly, we lost one of our sergeants inBismarckto gunfire as well and we recently went through the planning process for a police funeral as well,” said Jeff Solemsaas with the Bismark Police Department.

During times like these and others officers say they’re glad they can count on one another.

“We just help each other and whenPierrewas going through and still are involved in the flood, Rapid sent their officers in a moment’s notice to help us out.” Grandpre said. “And we appreciate that and we want to come back and support them.”

No matter where they’re from or they’re race or ethnicity, officers say the only color they see among themselves is blue.

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