The Power of a Calling

The first time Joe Hutmacher was put on duty as a police officer, he was told to go gas up the patrol car. When he noticed a bunch of his friends hanging around at D&N, he pulled in. “They were pretty incredulous, they thought I stole it!” This October, after 28 years of being in law enforcement, Joe Hutmacher is retiring from his position as Chamberlain’s Chief of Police. Joe’s story of how he became a ‘keeper of the peace’, doesn’t exactly start out peacefully. “When I was a teenager, there were street dances every weekend, and it seemed like the biggest guy in every town was looking to get into a fight with me.” Joe’s intimidating size and strength was a magnet for anyone wanting to challenge him, and he wasn’t about to back down. “My Dad died January 4th, 1986, I was 16 years old. I spent the next few years a little lost trying to figure things out. In 1989 when I was 20 years old I got into a fight with a man on Main Street in Kennebec, and as a result I found myself sitting in Lyman County Sheriff John Michalek’s office.” He still remembers the sheriff’s words to him, “Joe you’re going to end up killing somebody if you keep fighting, even if it’s not your fault, or you didn’t start the fight, it’s going to screw your life up forever.”

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Chamberlain Sun

116 S. Main Street 
Chamberlain, South Dakota 57325 

(605) 234-1444 (o)
(605) 234-1445 (f)