South Dakota police chief, accused of hiding girlfriend’s meth needles, resigns

A South Dakota police chief accused last month of trying to cover up his girlfriend’s methamphetamine use by hiding her used needles in his office resigned Tuesday from his post, The Argus Leader reported.

Jim Chaney, 44, the former chief, has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge, but has been suspended from his job.

A new police chief was named, and he assured the Wagner community that area law enforcement does not take a lax stance on drug use despite allegations leveled against the town’s former chief. The allegations also do not indicate that he was soft on crime or easy on meth users, he reportedly said.

"A week prior to him being indicted, he arrested one of her cousins," said Tim Simonsen, the new chief, the paper reported.

Nonetheless, some members of the community have been vocal in their criticism for how police respond to the widespread meth use.

"It's bad. It's an epidemic," Frances Zephier told KSFY.com. She spoke about how common meth use is in the community and said Chaney should have set a better example.

"I think when he knew she was doing drugs, he is responsible and should have gotten her help,” she said. “He should have gotten her help."

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