Entries Tagged 'SFPD' ↓

Tuthill Ghost story tonight on KDLT


I had a good chuckle while watching this preview. If Jill Johnson solves this ‘supposed’ crime at Tuthill Park, I guess we will all be eating crow for Thanksgiving this year. It think her story will probably just be a bag of excuses from the SFPD, I guess someone has to deliver the pathetic outcome, while the rest of us just giggle.

Gobble, Gobble!

Which got me thinking about the new and improved investigative reporter at Stormland TV, Angela. Angela is a nice lady and all, but she ain’t NO sociopath (we will get to that in a moment). A former national high profile journalist sent this to me today referring to the current state of journalism;

“Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world. Once upon a time you saw people like this in every newsroom in the country. They often had chaotic personal lives and they died early of cirrhosis or a heart attack. But they were tough, angry SOBs and they produced great stories.

Do you want to know what kind of people get promoted and succeed in the modern news organization? Social climbers. Networkers. People who are gregarious, who “buy in” to the dominant consensus, who go along to get along and don’t ask too many really awkward questions. They are flexible, well-organized, and happy with life.

And it shows.”


Other Tidbits from the Neighborhood Summit

Champion Awards

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Neighborhood Success Stories

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Neighborhood Safety

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Cell Phone Ban supporters missed the train, move on already

I have to admit I’m finding the ‘outrage’ about the cell phone ban getting killed in 1st reading quite hilarious, and a little late.

I guess Poo-Point University today had a full on bitch session about it.

Here’s the deal, if anyone from the public cared or was paying attention, I posted about this way back on May 15th. On May 24th, the Argus Leader ran a poll about the ban, and since then have done several stories about the ban.

It’s been in the news. A LOT!

In fact, if so many people were concerned about the ban, why was I the ONLY person from the public to testify in public input at the 1st reading?

The outrage about it now is an after thought, kind of like a fart that doesn’t make a sound or smells.

My feeling is that the people wanting this ban didn’t want public input (against it), that’s why the silence and education about it. They just wanted their fancy-smancy names to speak for themselves;

AARP South Dakota
Augustana College, Rob Oliver, Pres.
Bender Commercial Real Estate Services, Michael Bender, Pres.
DakotaCare, Kirk Zimmer, Pres.
Falls Area Bicyclists
7th District Medical Society
Raven Industries
River Ridge Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Center
Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital
AAA South Dakota
Southeastern District Dental Society of SD
University of Sioux Falls, Mark Benedetto, Pres.
Vern Eide Motor Cars


Dr. Loren & Mavis Amundson
Kathy Amundson
Robert Amundson (retired Justice of the SD Supreme Court)
Duane Anderson (former ass’t City Attorney)
Rich Aquilar
Sue Aguilar (former City Councilor)
Tam Baker (former City Councilor)
Dr. Jack & Linda Barker
Brenda Beninga
Gerald Beninga (Pres. & CEO Active Generations, former City Councilor, current Chair Minnehaha County Commission)
Bruce & Mary Boyd
Frank & Martha Brost,
Vernon Brown (former City Councilor)
Dean Buckneberg
Walter O. Carlson, MD
Gary Conradi
Steve Crim
Msgr. James Doyle
Jim Entenman, (CEO J&L Harley, former City Councilor).
Cy Farner
Dick Gregerson
Joel & Susan Hagen
Anne Hajek (former City Councilor, County Commissioner, member of the SD Legislature)
Doug Hajek
Robert W. Hartman
Ann & Joseph Henkin
Sandy Jerstad (former member of the SD Legislature)
Gene Paul Kean (former States Attorney and former Circuit Court Judge)
Bob Kiner
Dan Kirby
Joe & Jennifer Kirby
Helen Henkin Kluck
Jeff Kluck

Knobe (former Mayor)
Laurie Knutson
Rich & Shirley Lauer
John McIntyre (former member of the SD Legislature)
Steve Metli (former Planning & Services Director for the City of Sioux Falls)
David Munson (former Mayor)
Nathan & Brianna Nassif
David Nelson (former Minnehaha County States Attorney)
Mary Olinger
Loren Pankratz
Gary Pashby
Douglas Pay, MD
Sandra Pay
George Roberts
Daniel A. Rykhus
Ellie Sabers
Richard Sabers (retired Justice of the SD Supreme Court)
John Simko (retired US Magistrate Judge)
Tom Simmons
Terry & Cleo Sorensen (their son was killed by a driver texting on his cell phone at 26th & Minnesota in 2012)
William Srstka (retired Circuit Court Judge)
Jim Stavenger
Theresa Stehly (Drivers Ed teacher)
Bob & Trish Swanhorst
Jerry & Mary Pat Sweetman
Bob Thimjom
Pam Tiede
Stuart Tiede (retired Circuit Court Judge)
Carol Twedt (former County Commissioner)
Robert VanDemark Jr., MD
Dick & Marilyn Viehweg
Dave Volk
Ron Williamson
Dick & Jeanne Wold
Jim & Penny Woster

This is a list I have had since May also.

The bigger question is why is our current mayor absent from this list? And why the deafening silence from City Hall? The Police Chief?

Let’s face it, it is a public safety issue, put it on the ballot and let the voters decide, not a bunch of thumbsuckers that get their way every time they come crying to the city council. You are really starting to make an embarrassment out of our local government.

SF Police Chief Doug Barthel’s retirement


With Doug’s retirement this last Friday, I suppose I should make some comment about his tenure. First off, I wish him luck. From talking to other city retirees, I can guarantee, you will be a lot happier :)

As for the job Doug did, I guess I couldn’t really say anything bad or good. He has kept our city relatively safe.

I can say though that while the mayor was running for his second term it was disengenious of Doug to back the mayor in saying that the violent crime rate increase wasn’t concerning.

I also think some improvements that Doug could have worked on are;

• An internal affairs department that processes and resolves all citizen complaints about officers

• More transparency with evidence to the public

• Getting our officers in the same physical shape as our firefighters

• Require officers to go through criminal justice training/schooling (and pay for it).

Other then that, I don’t have a bone to pick with Barthel’s job performance. Could he have done more? Yes he could have. But he certainly didn’t do anything detrimental to the force.

Now if he can just hand over the Tuthill Ghost!

Will retiring Sioux Falls Police Chief Barthel tell us the ‘real’ story behind the Tuthill Ghost


Hey, it’s October, who doesn’t like a good ghost story?

Councilor Anderson told me on Friday about a recognition they will be having for Chief Barthel (I believe in tomorrows city council meeting). I asked Kenny if the outgoing Chief will fess up to what happened NY’s Day at Tuthill Park before departing. I think Kenny’s response was ‘probably not.’

It has been almost 10 months and we still have no clues. But of course, the public hasn’t been allowed to see evidence either and the shooting was investigated internally (because no one was injured – are we sure?)

Hopefully this incident won’t be ‘haunting’ Doug into his retirement.

Captain Galen Smidt to be new Assistant SF Police Chief?

I guess the announcement will be sometime this morning. Here is a video featuring Captain Smidt. To be honest with you, when I was told this morning, I didn’t have a clue who he was, and even seeing him on this video, it still doesn’t ring a bell. That’s not always a bad thing.

In related news, I was also informed that the Human Relations Director who had a very short stint with the city was ‘Not terminated’. Don’t know too many other details, or the circumstances (you know the whole game of ‘you can resign’), but if she indeed quit on her ‘own terms’ it seems it didn’t take her long to figure out the games being played by this administration. Heck, it has taken the city council 5 years and they still are falling for the same old parlor tricks.

Looks like the Police were jealous someone else was getting a FREE meal


When I see photos like this, I often wonder why we need to hire more police. Five patrol cars respond to a stolen sandwich. I have often said we need to focus on ‘quality’ over ‘quantity’ when it comes to our officers. We need to have a police force that focuses on being proactive on crime instead of sitting around in their cars waiting for someone to steal a sandwich.

My guess is that the cops wanted to search the car for drugs when all they found was a club sub.

Hotter than a Pepper Sprout

Holy Moly, that was fast;

The next Sioux Falls Police Chief will be Lt. Matt Burns.

Mayor Mike Huether named Burns to take over the department once current Chief Doug Barthel retires.  Barthel announced last week that he will retire in October.

Burns is a 19-year veteran of the Sioux Falls Police Department.  He was promoted to assistant police chief earlier in the year.

Huether hopes that Burns will be able to work closely with Barthel in the coming months and learn what he can from the outgoing chief.

The city council must approve of the nomination.

Just a few months ago, Matt was promoted to Assistant Chief, now just a week after Barthel’s retirement announcement, Matt is promoted again. And as I understand it, the city council wasn’t told about the promotion until minutes before the 10:30 police briefing today where it was announced.

Well it seems like most things ‘Huether’ another decision ram-rodded through? But it also makes you wonder if this has been in the works for months? Nothing against Matt, I’m sure he will do a fine job, but some may be wondering why not a national search? Especially with crime soaring over the past week (ironically since Barthel’s announcement where the mayor accused ‘naysayers’ of blowing the crime growth out of proportion) we have had stabbings, shootings, a physical attack, widespread vandalism, and home invasions (in almost every zone of the city). Seems Matt may have his work cut out for him.

Once again though, the mayor denies transparency to his legislative branch and ram rods something through. Screw the naysayers.

What are your feelings on the Police Chief Barthel retiring and working for Sanford?


And I thought I was going to miss out on the free lunches in my retirement.

I’m not sure what to think of our Police Chief going to work for Sanford;

After more than 12 years on the job, Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel has announced his retirement.

Barthel made the announcement Wednesday at the police’s daily media briefing, with Mayor Mike Huether by his side.

Barthel has served as a police officer more than 30 years. He has spent 12 years as Chief, making him the second-longest serving Police Chief in the history of Sioux Falls.

Huether credits Barthel with making the department more transparent, as well as improving community relations.

Barthel says he has accepted a position with Sanford Health as director of community relations.

I missed the press conference, but I guess the mayor gave Barthel credit for basically covering up the increase in crime rates in our city during the last mayoral election campaign. I guess Huether’s version of transparency is being able to sucker the public about statistics to help his re-election campaign. Oh, and we also don’t have access to any evidence from the night of the Tuthill shooting incident. Thanks.

I had heard rumors that Barthel was considering this retirement after assistant chief Lyons announced hers, which is no surprise after 30 years of service, but I’m surprised he is getting such a high profile job. I’m sure his pension from the city is very nice, and I don’t have an issue with him working after retirement, but it almost seems like a golden parachute handed to him from the mayor and his buddies at Sanford and First Premier for being a good soldier (Huether likes to reward his loyalist boot lickers with substantial raises and other perks (on our dime), it’s evident who follows orders and who rocks the boat when you look at the salary increases for management over the past 5 years) Well at least this time, Sanford will be footing the bill.

It also gives Sanford an edge over Avera when dealing with city police issues having an insider on their team, smart move by them, ethically questionable move by Barthel, but hey, we don’t have any ethics rules for public service in this state so what can we do about it? Also, to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t even know what ethics he would be violating? (I guess it is kind of hard to come up with something when no standards exist to begin with).

I wonder if he will continue to get free meals?


Nothing to see in Heritage Park, move along

Seems Heritage Park still has some trouble;

Complaint calls about Heritage Park have ranged from illegal use of alcohol to fights, and even public urination. It’s a situation that has property owners in the area fed up.

We spoke with Dwaine Thill who owns two houses across the street from Heritage Park, and he says the indecent and illegal behavior at Heritage Park is only getting worse. He feels the close proximity to the Bishop Dudley House is leading to an increase of people at the park. Thill says he’s concerned not only for his property, but keeping his tenants as well.

Photos taken from a neighbor in the area show people drinking alcohol and even urinating on her property.

“It’s the scrud of the city, coming over here and they have a place to congregate, drink, shoot up, and whatever else they want to do out there,” Property Owner Dwaine Thill said.

But not according to the SFPD. Just ignore the number of calls, the neighbors, the violations and that we have a homeless shelter close by;

In June and July, police responded to 141 calls at the park.  Even though the crimes at the park are minor, Clemens says police are keeping an eye on the area to prevent any dangerous situations. While some people are calling Heritage Park the new Van Eps Park, Clemens says this isn’t the case.

I think Mr. Thill has the best suggestion to fixing the problem;

Even so, Thill wants the city to do something about it.

“If the mayor wants to have them up in his area, more power to him. I’d like to have him live beside them awhile,” Thill said.

The streets in that neighborhood are so nice, the homeless would be scared to walk on them.