Ron Merwin, Sheriff
Sheriff since 1990, term expires January 2023
1400 Main Street, Sturgis, SD 57785
605.347.2681 | Fax: 605.347.6824
Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon. - Fri.
The Meade County Sheriff's Office oversees three distinct divisions as well as several layers within those divisions. The three divisions are Law Enforcement, Corrections (Jail), and Communications (Dispatch).
State law details the many duties of a sheriff, but utmost is the sheriff shall keep and preserve the peace within his county, and he is empowered to call to his aid such persons or power of his county as he may deem necessary. He must pursue and apprehend all felons; and must execute all writs, warrants, and other processes from an court or magistrate which shall be directed to him by legal authority.
It shall be the duty of the sheriff to comply with all orders of the attorney general or his agents and at all times, whether on duty under the call of the attorney general or his agents or not, to see to it as far as may be possible that all the laws of this state and especially all laws relating to alcoholic beverages are faithfully executed and enforced.
The sheriff shall furnish to the attorney general or his agents from time to time any information regarding conditions in his county that may be required; and it is his duty to inform himself of all violations of the state criminal laws, notify the state's attorney to file criminal complaints or preliminary information, and to arrest and assist in the prosecution of persons charged.
SDCL 23-14-18. Deaths to be investigated by coroner. The county coroner shall investigate any human death if a determination of the cause and manner of death is in the public interest. Nothing in the provisions of this section, § 23-14-9.1, 23-14-19, 23-14-20, 34-26-2, 34-26-5, or 34-26-14 supersedes the obligation of any county sheriff to pursue and apprehend all felons pursuant to § 7-12-1. Deaths which are in the public interest, without limitation, are:
(1) All deaths by unnatural means or if there is a suspicion of unnatural means, including all deaths of accidental, homicidal, suicidal, and undetermined manner, regardless of suspected criminal involvement in the death;
(2) All deaths where the identity of the victim is unknown or the body is unclaimed;
(3) All deaths of inmates of any state, county, or municipally operated correctional facility, mental institution, or special school;
(4) All deaths believed to represent a public health hazard;
(5) At the discretion of the coroner, all deaths of children under two years of age resulting from an unknown cause or if the circumstances surrounding the death indicate that sudden infant death syndrome may be the cause of death; and
(6) All natural deaths if the decedent is not under the care of a physician, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner or if the decedent's physician, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner does not feel qualified to sign the death certificate. However, the lack of an attending physician may not be construed to require an investigation or autopsy solely because the decedent was under treatment by prayer or spiritual means alone in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination.
Source: SL 1985, ch 191, § 1; SL 1990, ch 170, § 2; SL 1991, ch 198, § 1.