A Legacy built for the Youth of our Community and Law Enforcement. On August 2nd, 2011; Dustin’s best friend was shot in the line of duty. On August 7th, 2011 Officer Nick Armstrong passed away. Dustin and Nick were friends since they were 15 years old, worked together in Law Enforcement, and Nick was Dustin’s Best Man in his wedding. Out of this Tragic Event, Black Hills Badges for Hope was started. A non-profit for kids, the community, and the law enforcement community. Dustin has a passion to help others, kids, the community, and a big part of his inspiration comes from his best friend Nick Armstrong!!!
Black Hills Badges for Hope is a great program that supports kids and Law Enforcements. Love to golf??? They have a Super Cool and Fun Golf Tournament in the Summer. Another great program that they have is Shop with a Cop in December. (Bart’s Comment- we have 2 little foster kids and their 2 older siblings were able to purchase presents for their brothers and sisters and they thought it was great. You should have seen the excitement and smiles on their faces, it was priceless!)
- How long have you lived or worked in Rapid City?
I’ve always been a person to help people, when I was in high school I took one of those “What is the best career for you?” tests and it told me to be a counselor. I didn’t want to go to school that long and I was a Cadet with the Police Department starting at the age of 15, so that opened my eyes to a career in Law Enforcement to go back to school. Moves away and dabbled a little bit in emergency management field and missed Law Enforcement so much that I wanted to get back into it. However, do to a tragic event in 2011 my wife wasn’t keen on me joining the ranks again and we had our first daughter. I obliged and found myself looking for jobs that would get me close. I am now a Probation Officer here in Rapid City, its kind of the best of both worlds. I’m working with Law Enforcement, but I also get to help people on a deeper level than I would if I were still working in the Ranks and on patrol, guess I am kind of a counselor type now.
I also run a non-profit in town called Black Hills Badges for Hope, my inspiration comes from my former best friend Nick Armstrong who lived his life to the fullest and put everything on the line for his community everyday. Like me he was a helper and I wanted his legacy to live on by creating a non-profit that will help the Youth of Rapid City find their potential and give them opportunities to learn from sports or activities that provide lifelong skills helping them become the next potential leaders of our community. While also providing support for local first responders in our community through difficult times and bridging gaps between Law Enforcement and the Community.
- What is your favorite Restaurant in Rapid City and what do you love to eat there?
I’m a fan of Tally’s Silver Spoon, I absolutely love their Pancakes. I don’t know what it is about them but they are so good!
- How long have you lived or worked in Rapid City?
I’ve lived in Rapid City since I was 2 years old, except for a 5-year stint where I went to school, lived and worked in Richmond, VA from 2010-15
- Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Rapid City?
This is a tough one; I’ve met so many people in Rapid City. I would say former Chief of Police and SD State Senator Craig Tieszen. He was the Chief of Police when I was a Cadet. Probably one of the most down to earth and humbling people I have ever met. He has an Awesome back story with his time he spent in the Peace Corps and his educational background and how he got involved in Law Enforcement. Extremely smart guy and an excellent leader. He went on to become a South Dakota Senator after retirement.
Bart’s Comments- one hell of a Basketball Official too!!! Great Guy!!!
- If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
Greece, I’m part Greek and I’ve heard it’s beautiful so I’d like to see where I came from. I’d also like to take in my own heritage and learn more about where it is my great grandparents grew up. Plus…the FOOD!!!!
- What is your favorite movie?
I’m not a big movie watcher, but my wife and I did go see Argo in the Theaters and it was a captivating movie. At the time I was studying Homeland Security, so the undercover CIA aspect of the movie was interesting to me and that fact that it was based on a true story was even more interesting.
- What is something on your bucket list?
My wife (Emily) and I want to see each Major League Baseball team play in their home stadium. So far they have knocked off 10 of them.
Bart Comment- Pretty Cool Idea you two!!!
- What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
I like a mixture of Singer Songwriter, Bluegrass and 70’s Rock Country or Soft Rock. My Top 3 Favorite Bands are
- Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers
- The Dead South
- What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Rapid City?
Shakeys Pizza- I have so many memories of that place and the caramel rolls at that place were on point.
- Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch with? Why? Where in Rapid City?
Mickey Mantle, one of my all-time favorite baseball players. I’d take him to Independent Ale House, I know he was a drinker and we’d probably have a liquid lunch… plus their pizzas are pretty good too.
- What is your favorite thing or something unique about Rapid City
The Black Hills being 20 minutes to the West and the Plains being 20 minutes to the North, South, or East of us. I literally can go 20 minutes in any direction and can be away from people and in nature enjoying myself with my family. Fishing, hiking, or camping. It is such a unique place to live and raise a family. I feel blessed to live where we do. I also feel the community is very supportive of each other and lift other businesses and organizations up in times of need. Like we are seeing in our current times.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
5 to 10 years closer to retirement. I hope to grow my Non-Profit to a point where we are a premier organization supporting youth sports and activities in Rapid City. I would also like to see our organization grow to the point of seeing us be the organization that provides training and connection opportunities for the Community and our local Law Enforcement community, bridging the gap and bring people together to help combat some of the real issues we have in the community. Law Enforcement places a lot of the problems on their shoulders and carries it around, I think we have become better in taking whole community approaches to those thins, but I think we could do better. And being an organization that could bridge that gap is something I would like to see happen. Supporting those who make so many sacrifices but also support those who have the need in the community, marring those two things together showing that everyone has their struggles and the we aren’t all that different in the end.
- What are 3 words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Love, Happiness, and Family
- If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, whom would you choose?
Chuck Norris- Grew up watching him in Walker Texas Ranger and the Chuck Norris jokes out there are Awesome. He’s also a total Bad Ass!!!
- If you had a full time staff member that was fully paid for, whom would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
Physical Fitness Trainer with a Culinary Arts Degree HAHA!!!
Favorite Book- Donnie Brasco- by Joseph D. Pistone
Favorite Podcast- Mafia
Favorite Bible Verse- 2 Timothy 4: 7 – I have fought the good fight, finished the course, kept the faith.
Favorite Quote- By Failing to Prepare, you are Preparing to Fail. – Benjamin Franklin