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John Walsh Honors SD Law Enforcement

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The man who has made it his life’s mission to help catch criminals on a television series was in Sioux Falls Wednesday night, sound familiar? ‘America’s Most Wanted’ host John Walsh, was in town to help honor South Dakota’s law enforcement.

"It represents two people that I am partners with. The law enforcement community, which has helped me catch 1,230 of the world's worst fugitives on America's Most Wanted, and children's charities," Walsh said.

For 25 years, Walsh has been helping law enforcement around the nation catch criminals. At the 32nd annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner however, he was gushing about the success South Dakota's law enforcement has had. He said the state's legislators also have passed numerous laws that mirror federal laws to help protect missing children, and keep criminals locked up. Walsh said it’s those changes that make the biggest difference, and it's those laws that could have kept his son safe.

"When Adam was kidnapped 32 years ago, nobody helped us," Walsh said.

Walsh's 6-year-old son Adam was later found dead. Thursday would have been his 38th birthday. Walsh said to be able to speak to the law enforcement of South Dakota is something his son would have been proud to see.

 "A lot of people in this room, whether it be on the legislative side, or law enforcement, or citizens, helped me changed those laws," Walsh said.

But Walsh said the challenges we will face are far from over, so he has a message for all of us.

"We as a country have to deal with the ever growing violence," Walsh said.

He said America has the most cases of rape, human trafficking, and is the most violent first world country.

“We've had 24 mass shootings and murders within the last couple of years. I think it’s time we face these challenges," Walsh said.  
He said it's got to stop, and he left everyone at the dinner, pondering one question.

"How can we be the number one most powerful country, and the number one offender and abuser of children in the world," asked Walsh.

Wednesday night’s dinner also raised money for Children’s Charity. The charity uses the money raised to help children in need.

Walsh’s work on ‘America’s Most Wanted’ helped find a man who had fled to South Dakota after being charged with first-degree manslaughter.
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