Two law enforcement officers honored today

A fighter against Internet sexual traffic and a long-time leader against crime on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation receive recognition today.

Brent Gromer, state Division of Criminal Investigation supervisory special agent in charge of the Internet crimes against children unit, and John Long, who recently stepped down as assistant special agent in charge of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, get distinguished service awards.

Randy Seiler, the U.S. attorney for South Dakota, will present the honors during the spring conference of the South Dakota police chiefs and sheriffs association in Deadwood.

“Gromer’s investigative abilities and techniques have resulted in the prosecution of numerous child predators,” the U.S. attorney office’s news release said. “Gromer has been the architect of the proactive Sturgis Bike Rally operations, targeting online predators since 2013.”

Long served virtually his entire career in South Dakota.

“Agent Long singlehandedly revitalized the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services upon his arrival in Pine Ridge in 2004,” the release said. “As a result of his extraordinary determination and commitment to the safety of the citizens of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, hundreds of important violent crimes were prosecuted in federal court over many years.”

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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