Parkston City Council approves Ryan Antaya as full-time police chief, former chief was lone no-vote

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Jul. 13—PARKSTON, S.D. — Roughly five months after the resignation of Corrinna Wagner, the Parkston City Council has confirmed Ryan Antaya as their next police chief.

A police officer with five years of service at the Parkston Police Department, the city council voted 4-1 Monday evening during a regular meeting to remove Antaya's interim tag, confirming him as the full-time police chief.

Antaya, who grew up in Plankinton, was appointed as interim chief at the council's Feb. 8 meeting, the same meeting in which Wagner, the former chief resigned,

suddenly resigned vaguely citing superiority and personnel issues.

"What I can say is this has been going on for years. This has not been taken care of, and as a chief of police you need to know when to walk away if things are not going to be resolved," she told the Mitchell Republic in February. "... I would still be there today if this would have been resolved, but you have to draw a line in the sand and pound it and you have to walk away."

Wagner later won a seat on the Parkston City Council,

and was the lone vote against Antaya's confirmation as full-time police chief. She declined an opportunity to comment on her vote.

One month after Antaya began his interim position, and with only two sworn officers on staff, the city council on March 14 approved two part-time officers to fill in on an as-needed basis, providing additional coverage while the police department worked to find a full-time replacement.

Suddenly in June, just as Antaya had made a hire, another full-time officer, Cole Albaugh-Edgecomb submitted his resignation, which left Antaya facing a new problem. In South Dakota, officers can be hired onto a police force before they earn their law enforcement certification — though it is a condition of the hiring process.

Antaya's new hire needed to attend the South Dakota Law Enforcement Training program, which left Antaya as the only full-time sworn officer on the force for a short time, requiring him to be on call at all hours of the day if his part-time officers are unavailable.

"Once we get a third full-time officer, then the part-time guys will no longer be needed," Antaya said. "When you gotta do 24-hour coverage, it gets challenging. It's lucky we had the part-time guys hired."

The Parkston Police Department is currently seeking a qualified applicant to fill one additional full-time police officer position.

Mayor David Hoffman was not immediately available to comment on the vote or the staffing shortage in the department.