Highway Patrol Call to Honor

The Call to Honor is dedicated to the South Dakota Highway Patrol Troopers who made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.


Patrolman Bernard Benson

Patrolman Benson served from August 31, 1941 to September 17, 1941. Benson was in training and a passenger in a patrol car that was responding to a reported accident near Sioux Falls. Benson and his training officer met a car head-on at the crest of a hill and Patrolman Benson was killed.

Patrolman H.N. “Brownie” Russell

Patrolman Russell began his career on the Highway Patrol April 1, 1948. He died November 19, 1958 from injuries sustained in a car accident. Patrolman Russell had been on duty for a long period of time participating in a manhunt. While en route to his duty station, he fell asleep at the wheel of a patrol car. A plaque given in his honor reads, "He shall long be remembered for his high ideals, his courage and resourcefulness, but more than this, for his complete devotion to duty and the law enforcement profession. Because of his zeal for honor and justice for all, for his paying the supreme sacrifice, badge number 11 will be withdrawn from service and be honored by law enforcement forever."

Trooper Verlyn L. Mettler

Trooper Mettler was hired April 26, 1963 and was killed in the line of duty March 9, 1976. Trooper Mettler was shot in his front yard by a man he had arrested on an earlier date. His honor plaque reads, "For those of us so honored, it has been uplifting and humbling to be associated with him. The right of thought was his wish, the freedom on conscience his goal, and the guarantee of equal rights to all people, everywhere, his contention. He met the heartaches or the happiness of each day with courage, calmness, and capacity. His fine contribution to life, his dedication to law enforcement was always professional."

Trooper Steven E. Hoffman

Trooper Hoffman's years of service were from October 1, 1978 to March 12, 1980. Trooper Hoffman died from his injuries after being struck by a truck during a routine traffic stop north of Freeman. Trooper Hoffman will be remembered for his commitment to service and his helping ways.

Trooper Oren S. Hindman

Trooper Hindman served from October 1, 1978 to May 2, 1985. Trooper Hindman was fatally wounded by a passenger in his patrol car. Trooper Hindman's plaque reads, "He shall long be remembered for his integrity, his courage, and for his dedication in serving the State of South Dakota." Trooper Hindman is remembered by his many friends in Sturgis and by his "partners" on the Highway Patrol.

At the End of the Day

The trooper stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, trooper.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?"

The trooper squared his shoulders and
Said "No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those who carry badges
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was rough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.

If You've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I've never expected or had too much,
But if You don't....I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod.
As the trooper waited quietly
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, trooper,
You've borne your burdens well
Come work a beat on Heaven's streets
You've done your time in hell."

- Author Unknown

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