Is Sioux Falls crime rate soaring?

There are different factors of course to determine if the rates are worrisome. Before the last mayoral election, candidate Greg Jamison brought up the crime rate increases in his campaign;

In 2009, there were 212 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people in the Sioux Falls metro area, one of the lower rates nationwide. By 2013, the rate had risen to 292 violent crimes per 100,000 people, an increase of nearly 38% — the 10th largest increase among U.S. metro areas. City officials last year attributed part of this spike in crime to population growth. Yet, this does not fully explain the higher crime rate. Some crimes are also becoming more common than others. Methamphetamine-related crimes, for example, have risen dramatically in the area since 2009.

I have also been concerned that most of the violent crimes have been domestic related (the victims know their attackers) including several crimes against women. Of course, our Police chief blows off the rates like shooting at a ghost in Tuthill park;

Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel says the same things that help the city attract positive attention, and a growing population, also attract crime.

“Over that time period we’ve seen our city grow by almost 20,000 people. We just know there’s a certain number of people who are going to want to commit crimes,” Barthel said.

Maybe someone needs to explain percentages to Doug, he seems to be confused by them. Like I said above, the violent crime increase concerns me the most. And if you don’t think there hasn’t been an increase in crime, go down to the County Courthouse and ask the State’s Attorney and the County Commission about their dwindling budget due to the increase. You will see a whole other picture. But why should the SFPD care? There job is to shoot first ask questions later, cuff and stuff and let the county sort them out.


#1 rufusx on 02.16.15 at 4:24 pm

It’s a pretty well known, and has been for along time, that most violent crimes are committed against persons known to the criminal. In fact, the better known, the closer the relationship, the higher the crime rate and the more violent the crime. This is nothing new.

In addition, violent crimes tend to be higher amongst younger people, and poorer people. Given the low-wage nature of SD, and the lower than average age of most new residents to SF, again – no surprise.

Wanna fix the problem? Get more wealthier older folks to move here. What would entice them to do so? More higher paying jobs.

#2 Winston on 02.16.15 at 4:49 pm

Jamison might have brought this issue up during the 2014 mayoral campaign, but he failed to make it an issue.

Plus, he has been on the council since 2008, under two mayors, so how could he claim in 2014 he had the answer and owned the issue when he had had six years prior to his mayoral campaign to raise the issue and deal with it?

Now, that said my point is not to rag on Jamison alone. I believe all of our city fathers and mothers need to accept responsibility for this.

Yes, population growth is a part of the problem, but has there ever been any planned response to this growth/crime correlation – a reality where the former was encouraged?…..I would say, no.

About ten or fifteen years ago a study was done for Sioux Falls which showed Sioux Falls had the smallest number of police officers per capital of any metropolitan area in the country; and I think it is fair to say that fact is still true today.

Thus, I believe four things need to be done to address this issue:

1) We need to hire more officers
2) We need to set-up precinct offices for the SFPD
3) There needs to be a more aggressive working of the main throughways where the officers make more frequent stops at convenience stores and casinos especially during the late hours.
4) Neighbors, which are identified as challenged, need to be patrolled the same way the City dealt with the Pettigrew area a few years ago.

I realize my ideas are costly, but we have the money. Because offering peace and security to its citizens is one of the number one priorities of a local government – and a chore which demonstrates how government cannot always be “run like a business.”

I love parks, sports authority zones, events centers, bike trails and the alike, but what good are they to us if we are dead or chronically injured do to a stray bullet or a growing crime rate which causes us to board ourselves up within our homes?

The money is there, but there needs to be a priority change in our budget and an attitude change in our city leaders.

Now, to my liberal friends who fear a police state with more officers “out and about”. I always fear a police state too, but that is the least of our worries right now. We need more uniform officers on duty keeping our city safe!

I live in a respectable middle class neighborhood, which is beginning to become challenged. Two years ago some young people fired off a automatic weapon near my house before taking off in their car to eventually meet a tree at high speed with tragedy. My neighborhood has also witnessed a murder/suicide which shut-off 41st street for hours. Recently, we had the shooting on Louise near my home. Thus, it is definitely not the Sioux Falls we once knew. Although, we all enjoy the progress of our city, the growing crime situation must be dealt with and can be dealt with if our city leaders would admit to the problem, become proactive about it, and quit living in the political spin world of “running government like a business.”

Run government efficiently, yes, but not like a business. It is the business of government to protect its citizens, who happen to be the taxpayers… and such a reality would truly be an efficient and refreshing way to run a local government.

#3 Anonymous on 02.16.15 at 5:37 pm

You must be mistaken. Daugaard passed his crony criminal justice reforms several years ago that increased state government and the public was assured that our crime problem would go away with their massive government expansion and hand spank revisions.

#4 Scott on 02.17.15 at 9:18 am

Crime rates changed when video lottery was legalized. That addiction was more damaging to the public than any drug. It goes virtually ignored because the police don’t really care. My family’s company has been the victim of embezzlement so many times over the years, but police detectives won’t do anything with it unless you have video footage of employees walking out with money in their hands. On multiple cases, I showed the detectives how managers scammed us out of thousands of dollars, but they just didn’t care.

#5 l3wis on 02.17.15 at 9:37 am

I would agree, I have often said that VL costs us more in crime and social costs then what we get out of it. I just wish SD voters would have the backbone to vote it down once and for all.

#6 Who is John Galt on 02.17.15 at 11:13 am

Crime is part of a growing community, not everyone is a good neighbor you just need to let it grow on you.

#7 Who is John Galt on 02.17.15 at 11:14 am

Argus Leader:

#8 CCFlyer on 02.17.15 at 7:46 pm

The answer is yes, and any leader of our city who still thinks Sioux Falls is a “quaint small town” is ignorant to think we aren’t growing and changing into a small to mid-size city with the same challenges.

#9 Dan Daily on 02.18.15 at 8:56 am

Your last sentence says it all. More police may not help. Focus on proper training and add an internal affairs section. There’s no way to make a complaint against rogue police who (it turns out) are part of the problem. How many times since 2009 have they fired guns without cause? Does anyone remember a single casino robbery that was solved?

The young assistant police chief retired. Did she recognize the lack of professionalism? It’s time to retire the chief?

#10 ‘Crime’ was actually an issue in the last mayoral campaign — South DaCola on 03.04.18 at 10:21 pm

[…] The problem was it was Greg Jamison ONLY vs. Huether and his entire administration, including a police chief who was in denial, then the governor appoints him to the legislature, go figure; […]