SPEARFISH, SD – Since 2001, there has been a School Resource Officer (SRO) program in Spearfish schools, wherein carefully selected, specifically trained, sworn law enforcement officers partner with the schools to provide onsite resources for students and staff using community-oriented policing concepts. Recently, two Spearfish Police Department officers have taken on a new assignment as Spearfish’s newest SROs: Officers Samuel Funk and Dustin Ruvolo.
A veteran of the US Navy, SRO Funk joined the Spearfish Police Department in March 2023. His law enforcement career began in 2019 when he became a deputy at the Marion County (OR) Sheriff’s Office, later joining the Pennington County (SD) Sheriff’s Office. He also has experience working as a youth pastor, childcare director, and fitness trainer. Having worked with families and youth in various capacities over the course of his life, he was interested in becoming an SRO to help impact the younger generations.
With guidance and assistance in building healthy relationships and making good choices, this can give our kids their best chance to create the life they want to live instead of feeling trapped or limited by events that can curb their potential and make their dreams out of reach,” he said.
SRO Funk is looking forward to creating relationships in the schools, both with students and teaching staff.
I’ve seen the friendships prior SROs have built with students and staff, and it is a great example of a healthy organization,” he said.
SRO Ruvolo was hired with the Spearfish Police Department in August 2019 after graduating with an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Sheridan College. He is a certified instructor for a variety of training topics and has designed and delivered multiple presentations for community groups on such topics as the dangers of vaping and the identification of various drugs.
My goal is to be a resource the school staff and administration can count on,” he said of the new assignment. “
In regard to the students, I want to be able to assist in providing a safe learning environment.”
SRO Ruvolo is excited to make an impact in the schools and learned recently from a teacher that a student had written a paper about a previous contact with him.
I was informed the student was going through a rough time. During that time, I had an interaction with them while I was still on patrol,” he said. “
I was unaware, but they wrote a paper about the interaction and how they would like to become a police officer.”
SROs Funk and Ruvolo join SRO Austin Drapeaux, who was hired by the Spearfish Police Department in February 2019 and has served as an SRO since August 2022.
Our school resource officers are valuable and essential members of our schools, department, and community,” Lieutenant Collin Smith said. “
These officers serve as informal mentors, educators, and law enforcement officers to support the students and community they serve, and we look forward to seeing all of the ways SROs Drapeaux, Funk, and Ruvolo build community through their assignments in the Spearfish schools.”