Thum Appointed Next Police Chief

Mayor Paul TenHaken today announced the appointment of Jonathan Thum as the next Chief of Police for the Sioux Falls Police Department (SFPD). Thum is currently a Lieutenant with the SFPD; his appointment follows the announcement in May of current Police Chief Matt Burns’ retirement. As part of the hiring process for the new Police Chief, a hiring panel of community members and partner organizations identified the top finalists for the position. Additionally, the community was invited to meet the candidates and ask questions about the position during a public event.

“Lt. Thum’s extensive law enforcement experience, genuine passion for public service, and his dedication to the Sioux Falls Police Department will serve our city well in his new leadership role,” said Mayor TenHaken. “As a Sioux Falls native, Lt. Thum is incredibly respected in our community and leads with a collaborative and inclusive approach. He will be a fantastic addition to our leadership team, and he is the right person to lead our police department forward.”

Lt. Thum has a broad spectrum of experience gained through his work with the SFPD. Thum started his career with the SFPD as a Patrol Officer in 2005. In his sixteen-year SFPD career he has worked as a Field Training Officer, Department Training Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant and SWAT commander, providing him with a high-level strategic perspective and expertise in the facets of law enforcement and community relations.


“It is an incredible honor to be entrusted with this opportunity to lead this great department and to serve the community of Sioux Falls,” Lt. Thum said. “I look forward to continuing to build strong and lasting relationships within the Sioux Falls Police Department, the City of Sioux Falls, and across the community.”

Lt. Thum helped lead the department’s response to the civil unrest during summer 2020 and also has represented SFPD in many community forums designed to engage residents in constructive dialogue. In his prior role as Patrol Sergeant he established relationships with neighborhood associations and community groups that formed the foundation for SFPD’s community outreach. He was awarded the Chief Clark Quiring Award for Excellence in 2020, VFW Officer of the Year recognition in 2017 and Shift Commendation Medal in 2016. Lt. Thum also earned a Unit Citation in 2020 for his leadership in the department's civil disturbance response.

Lt. Thum holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls, where he also serves as an adjunct instructor. He was raised in Sioux Falls and resides there with his wife and three children.

Lt. Thum’s appointment requires the advice and consent of the City Council, which will be presented at the July 6, 2021, Council Meeting.

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Media Availability

Lt. Thum will be available for interviews regarding the appointment at the Police briefing at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at the Law Enforcement Center, 320 W. 4th Street.


Photo of Lt. Jonathan Thum

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