Defund the Police?

There has been a lot of discussion about ‘defunding’ the police. Where the confusion comes in is that some people think this means getting rid of a police force, not at all, what it means is redirecting some funds that go towards the police force to other programs such triage, drug courts, counseling, etc. I am all for looking at ways to cut operational and personnel costs within the City of Sioux Falls. I have felt for a long time that with advances in technology we should be cutting staff and especially management instead of adding to it. I have also thought that the public sector jobs should have to pay the same for healthcare as private citizens, get the same kind of sick benefits, COLAs and holiday and NO pensions (unless they privately contribute). I have often felt (especially during the covid crisis) that public employees feel like they need to be treated like a special class of people. We still haven’t opened our libraries, even though almost every other sector is open in our community. Why is this? Because there is a lot of arrogance with the administrative staff in our city. But that is a whole other discussion.

I also think the Union needs to do a better job of training officers and needs to be tougher on bad cops. I have argued for a long time that if we hire quality officers (good physical shape, diversity and criminal justice trained) we may have to pay more up front, but our savings would be enormous because we would have less issues with the officers and need fewer. I do think depending on the season, we have too many PO’s in Sioux Falls. This is apparent when you see a group of 5 or 6 standing together at Jazzfest eating hot dogs or the multitude of squad cars parked outside of Avera eating a free lunch there (another program that should end).

I have wondered if cross training the fire fighters to also be PO’s and vice versa while including a public ambulance service would save taxpayers money and give us a more diverse public safety staff in Sioux Falls?

I’m not sure, I am not an expert in this stuff, just throwing ideas out there. But I can tell you that observing our police force in Sioux Falls since 1991, there is certainly room for improvement, not just to improve the community but to improve the officers well being.

The first thing I would do almost immediately is 3 things;

  • Mandatory diversity training for at least 100 hours per officer. They should also be required to pass exams from the training.
  • PAID physical fitness time (The SFFD gets this)
  • Body cameras for every officer

I think these three things would be a good starting point.


#1 "Woodstock" on 06.09.20 at 6:33 pm

“Does Ricky know Jeremy and Mike?”…”If so, they probably wear the same type of outfits”….

#2 "Very Stable Genius" on 06.09.20 at 6:37 pm

If defunding the police means taking some of their money and channeling it to other governmental entities, then that means that overtime with the help of mission creep the police will be fully funded once again and the other governmental entities will have expanded, or have their funds eventually cut.

#3 D@ily Spin on 06.10.20 at 9:47 am

Not a good time for this. Crime will rise from Corona economic impact. We need cops. Even bad ones. Police should have improved training regarding making arrests without choke holds and treatment of all suspects equally without prejudice.
Instead, how about defund the city council. Their compensation can be replaced with lucrative developer bribes. There’s no budget to build more coliseums, bath houses, or unnecessary high rise parking. They’ll make stupid personal liberty decisions as usual but let it cost the corrupt instead of regular citizens.

#4 John on 06.10.20 at 5:37 pm

“I also think the Union needs to do a better job of training officers and needs to be tougher on bad cops.”

What bad cops have not been held accountable in south Dakota? What do the unions have to do with training cops at all?

All sounds like talking points from out of state.

#5 l3wis on 06.10.20 at 7:56 pm

John, Unions have many training programs. As you know ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ wasn’t a miracle, it was because everyone involved was well trained union members. As for accountability, we have no idea, the SFPD has NO internal affairs.