About Us


The mission of Dakota 911 Conference, Inc. is to advance the Public Safety Communications profession.


The specific purpose of Dakota 911 Conference, Inc. is: To advance the Public Safety Communications profession by providing; public discussion groups, forums, panels, lectures, sponsored conferences, training grants, continuing dispatcher education, or other similar programs and related activities. 


The Dakota 911 Conference was loosely established in early 2000 when Don Phillips obtained an EIN from the IRS and established financial accounts in its name with the Black Hills Federal Credit Union in Rapid City, SD. Its purpose was to advance the Public Safety Communications profession in the Dakotas.

The mechanism it chose was that of sponsoring or supporting annual conferences to alternate between North and South Dakota. Further, those conferences conducted in South Dakota were envisioned to alternate between “East River” and “West River”. This it did in 2000, 2002, and 2004 with conferences in Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and again Rapid City.

Those conferences were all meaningful though the 2002 conference lost money. All “profits” of the 2000 conference were expended liquidating 2002 conference debts. The 2004 conference managed by The Dakota 911 Conference was an APCO North Central Regional Conference. It also generated profits. And it generated an audit requirement.

During the audit process, members of the audit committee raised questions about the tax liability of The Dakota 911 Conference. These questions were distinct from the financial audit requirements and set aside for separate action.

This separate action commenced in November 2004 when Ted Rufledt, Jr., an officer of The Dakota 911 Conference, asked for an initial assessment of the situation from a consultant. The consultant, Mark A. Mills of Wild Turkey Enterprises, was formally engaged the following December. Subsequently, an accountant, Dennis O. DeSmet of DeSmet & Biggs LLP, and an attorney, Doyle Estes of Estes Law Firm were retained. Investigation by all three established The Dakota 911 Association was an unincorporated, unorganized association known to the IRS as “Dakota Chapter of National Emergency Number Association”. Other than that, it had no real standing with the IRS.

To correct this situation The Dakota 911 Conference, Inc. organized and incorporated under the laws of South Dakota in January 2005, obtained a separate EIN in April 2005, declared itself the successor organization to the Dakota Chapter of National Emergency Number Association (dba Dakota 911 Conference) in July 2005, and requested IRS designation as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity in July 2005.

At the beginning of August 2005 the IRS determined the Dakota 911 Conference, Inc. was a tax-exempt public charity. This advance ruling was upgraded to a final determination at the end of 2009.

With the initial federal tax-exemption obtained in mid-August 2005, the Dakota 911 Conference, Inc. was fully and properly established and commenced routine operations.  Since that time, it has regularly and effectively sponsored professional conferences and supported professional training through its grant program.

With continued public support, the Dakota 911 Conference, Inc. will readily accomplish its mission and purpose.