Partners in crime


Josie Tollinger

Chase Vanderhule and Bob Draeger are partially responsible for keeping LHS a safe space. They spend time not only with negative situations that deal with crime but also getting to know the student body and staff to make their environment feel safe.

Josie Tollinger, Staff Writer

Whether you are a student or staff member at LHS, you have more than likely had the pleasure of meeting the two school resource officers, Robert Draeger, or as most call him officer Bob, and officer Chase Vanderhule. The LHS officers always have a smile on their face and play a big role on why this school is so great. 

Draeger and Vanderhule are both LHS graduates, and have had the excitement of returning to their high school although this time, they are not the one sitting in class. Draeger and Vanderhule’s main priority is to keep LHS safe; however, they both try to have other priorities as well, such as meeting new people, building relationships with students and bringing positivity to everyone’s day. Although they may not be the same age, they balance each other out and can both rely on each other for when times get rough.

Officer Chase:

Vanderhule is a police officer, and is currently one of the school resource officers for LHS. Vanderhule was born in Huron, SD, but later moved to Sioux Falls. After graduating a semester early from high school, he went directly into the Army. He went into the Third Ranger Battalion where he was deployed three times. During that time he jumped out of airplanes for a living. 

Outside of work, Vanderhule enjoys spending time with his three kids, dirt biking, fishing, hunting and camping. He can also be found cruising down the streets riding his Harley.

Right when he got back from the military, Vanderhules daughter was born which encouraged him to find a way to provide for his family. His military experience and salary were all bonuses of him choosing to be a police officer. After hearing from a close friend that it is a good option to become a cop after service, he realized that this would be the best decision. 

“My daughter was born six days after I got out of the military, so I needed something to provide for the family. My experience kinda fell in line with decent pay and benefits. When I was in the military one of my best friends was killed overseas. He had a mentor back in Rosemount Minnesota, David Boll, he said that it is a good option for when you get out of service to become a cop,” said Vanderhule.

Vanderhule became a police officer in 2012. In the past decade, three of those years have been dedicated to help in schools instead of in the streets. After working on the streets for so long, Vanderhule decided it was time for a change. He believed that with his young age he could be making a bigger impact on children rather than adults. 

“Dealing with adults and just over the course of time arresting so many people for so many different things didn’t really seem to be doing anything to anyone. It was getting to be the same thing over and over again. I thought that I could provide a different perspective being a younger cop,” said Vanderhule.

Vanderhule has been very lucky to have a partner like Draeger, as he has been able to learn and grow from being along his side. He will miss the positivity that Draeger brings to work each and every day. 

“Oh he’s awesome, unfortunately he’s retiring next year, I’m going to miss him a lot. He always seems to present positivity which makes him a good partner,” said Vanderhule. 

Officer Bob:

Robert Draeger is a police officer for the City of Sioux Falls and has been on duty for about 25 years. He is currently working at LHS as the school resource officer and has been here for about 10 years. Draeger grew up here in Sioux Falls and also graduated from LHS in 1990. After high school, he went to Colorado State University and then graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in cultural anthropology. 

Outside of work, Draeger enjoys doing home improvement projects, hunting and fishing. His daughter attends HHS and participates in the band. Being a “band dad,” most of his fall weekends are spent watching band activities.  

Before deciding to become a police officer, Draeger had been working multiple jobs that he was not satisfied with and felt as though they were not going to take him anywhere. While working at Scheels, a coworker who was working part-time and was a full-time cop encouraged him to apply, so he did.

 After working on the streets for many years, Draeger decided he needed a change so he decided to work in the schools instead. 

“It was a change in pace, and it got me off the streets and out of that toxic environment of normal police work, and I like kids,” said Draeger. 

Over the past few years of working at LHS, Draeger has realized how fun it is to work in a school environment. He has enjoyed being able to have fun while at work by making jokes and interacting with the students and staff. Being at LHS for quite a while, Draeger has had some memorable moments that he will never forget such as all the teens he has caught making out or the one time he found two teens almost starting a fire inside their car. 

“There were two kids who were in a car outside of LHS and we thought they were engaged in smoking marijuana, they weren’t. They were trying to see if hand sanitizer burned so they poured some on a plastic frisbee and lit it on fire inside of their car. They apparently didn’t take a chemistry class,” said Draeger. 

Draeger has enjoyed his time with his partner Vanderhule. He appreciates the sense of humor they share and the fact that they can share all their dad jokes to each other without being judged. Draeger appreciates all the work that his partner does for him, from making his coffee each morning or simply being able to rant to him when needed. 

“I come in and there is often a cup of coffee ready to go for me, the man has it together. It’s stress relief; I don’t need to go see a counselor or a therapist, I’ve got him,” said Draeger.