Tea’s newest police officer is no stranger to the city.
Brian Crosby started full-time Jan. 21, but this isn’t his first time serving Tea. A few years ago, he spent about a year as a part-time officer for the city.
Crosby, originally from Appleton, Minnesota, went into the military after high school and got a degree in criminal justice before going through the police academy in 2007. He spent about eight years with the Minnehaha County sheriff’s office before his part-time stint in Tea. He most recently worked for the Deuel County sheriff’s office.
Since his parents were farming in west-central Minnesota, Crosby wanted to be closer to them to help on the family farm. Deuel County was as close as he could get to home and still be in South Dakota.
“It was really nice to be 35 miles from where I grew up so I was able to help my dad with planting and harvest as he got older to help him with the farm,” Crosby said. “But, I always had one eye looking over my shoulder at Tea because there’s just something about Tea that I really enjoyed.”
The timing of the open full-time position worked out perfectly for his family. His dad has now retired from farming and is renting out his land. His parents both doctor in Sioux Falls and are looking at moving closer to the area. Crosby’s wife, Heather, is originally from Brandon.
Crosby is looking to sell his home in Clear Lake and buy a home in Tea for his family of six. He said Tea is a unique small community.
“You’ve got everything here you need but anything else you want is right next door in Sioux Falls,” he said.
Growing up in Minnesota, the chief of police in Appleton went to his church. He remembers seeing him come to church in uniform when he was 8 or 9 years old.
“I just remember looking up at him and thinking that’s what I want to do some day. I’ve always had the desire to serve and I’ve always had a strong belief in the rule of law so those things went together,” Crosby said.
He looks forward to working with the team of law enforcement officers and others in Tea. He wants everyone to know that he is approachable.
“If someone has questions or concerns about something or has a hunch that something going on doesn’t seem right, I want you to know that my door is always open,” he said.
Send me an email, give me a call or come in and see me,” he said. “If you see me about, wave me down and I will be happy to chat. I am here for you, and I want you to know I appreciate any information that can help make our community safer. Also, if anyone wants to chat with me about their favorite fishing spot, I would like to hear that too.”
Crosby acknowledges that law enforcement can be a tough job, but it is also rewarding.
“The potential is there every day to make a difference in someone’s life, whether it be getting an impaired driver off the road or helping a person take the first steps in getting out of an abusive relationship, walking someone through a mental health crisis. It can just be a glimmer in a child’s eye when you hand them a sticker,” Crosby said. “Every day is different and that’s what I really like about this job.”