BPD brings on three new officers

Staff report
Andrew Nygaard (from left), Dan Francis and Zach Kieffer joined the Brandon Police Department Monday. Jamie Hult/BV Journal

The Brandon Police Department welcomes three new officers to its staff.
On Monday, Dan Francis, Zach Kieffer and Andrew Nygaard joined the ranks of the BPD.
All three are taking over positions vacated earlier this year by former officers Quentin Struble, Seth Blomgren and Lt. Wade Else. On Friday, officer Jamie Steffel took over Else’s formal role as department lieutenant.
Brandon Police Chief Joe Weir welcomed the three new officers Monday.
“One good thing about them is that they all wanted Brandon,” Weir said. 
At 6-foot-6, Francis is the tallest of the BPD’s new crop of officers. Born and raised in Sioux Falls, Francis graduated from Brandon Valley High School in 2011. He attended Southwest Minnesota State University, graduating in 2015 with a B.A. in psychology. 
Francis worked as a residential counselor through the Summit Oaks program at Lutheran Social Services before becoming a correctional officer at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in 2016. He was promoted to corporal in 2018 and served two years as a member of the correctional emergency response team.
Francis and his wife, Emily, were married in Slayton, Minn., in 2017. They currently reside in Sioux Falls with their dog, Tucker, and plan to move to Brandon to raise a family and become active members of the community. In their spare time, the couple enjoys spending time with their families and cheering on the Minnesota Twins.
Francis enjoys “the variety of work” in policing. 
“You’re not just sitting behind a desk all day,” he said. 
Kieffer grew up in Crooks, graduating from Tri-Valley High School before joining the South Dakota National Guard. He attended the University of South Dakota, where he earned a B.S. in criminal justice and psychology in 2016. Since graduation, he has worked as a correctional officer at the Minnehaha County Jail.
Kieffer and his wife, Michelle, were married in Brandon in 2018, and live here. The Kieffers enjoy walking their golden retriever, Ralph, and spending time with friends and family. 
Kieffer says he enjoys police work because there’s never a dull moment.
“I get bored easily,” he admitted. “(With policing), there’s always something to do.”
Nygaard grew up in Sioux Falls and graduated from Harrisburg High School. He obtained an Associate’s Degree from Southeast Technical Institute in law enforcement science in 2018. Since then, he has worked as a deputy sheriff with the McCook County Sheriff’s Office.
Nygaard lives in Salem with his girlfriend, Lexie, and hopes to move closer to the Brandon community. They enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family and kayaking. 
Police work, Nygaard said, “is all about helping people.”
He’s looking forward to “the interactions, meeting people, seeing a side most people never get to see.”
“You can never say you’ve seen it all,” he said. 


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