Police transparency would help solve crimes faster in Sioux Falls

I found this comment very telling but not surprising from SFPD communications officer, Sam Clemens;

As the public Information officer or PIO, his job is to inform the public, but sometimes that conflicts with police work. Clemens says it’s probably the hardest part of his job.

“I’ve got detectives and police officers that are saying no we don’t want to say that we don’t want that information out because it could jeopardize the investigation, it could jeopardize the case. But if we don’t give out information then people start filling in their own blanks and that’s the challenging part for me is to find where that line is,” Clemens said.

Besides minors committing crimes, Marsy’s Law and HIPAA the police can tell the public quite a bit. I would even argue that the more they tell us the faster crimes are solved.

The easiest way to increase transparency is to make organizational charts, policies, and procedures, yearly reports, crime incidents, traffic stops, or arrests public. Thanks to the internet, it is now easier than ever to share this information with the world. Many agencies are incorporating this already by publishing annual reports that are open to the public and which disclose crime statistics from previous years.

While the SFPD does do some of these things they need to do more;

Why is it that so many police organizations feel that so much of the information they possess is a secret? I am not speaking about investigatory information that will impede the solving of a case, hinder its successful prosecution or leave an innocent person convicted in the press. Nor am I talking about specific protocols that are tactical in nature, even though the amount of knowledge regarding police TIPs known to the public is shocking. Due solely to his love of video games, my 17-year-old son and I can have meaningful and informed conversations on room-clearing tactics and weapon systems. What I am referring to — and what the public wants to know — is why and how police officers and law enforcement executives make their decisions. What are we thinking, and what is driving us? In a world where conspiracy theories abound, and the public has reached a boiling point over the accuracy and misperceptions of police, if we were to “pull back the curtains” and let the fresh, cleansing power of transparency shine in those dark places, we can illuminate any issue with honest and truthful responses. This is transparency in action, and the only way forward is to build and maintain trust with the public. Due to a lack of transparency, that is something we have lost in recent decades.

I’m not sure a lack of transparency culture only exists in the SFPD, that kind of culture comes from the top down and we know what kind of relationship City Hall and Carnegie Town Hall have with transparency.



15 comments ↓

#1 Steve on 10.04.22 at 5:56 am

What’s needed is positive transparency. You know, the same type of transparency projected by the Mayor’s office and the dealings of the City Council. Wishful thinking is wide awake in Sioux Falls.

#2 LJL on 10.04.22 at 1:09 pm

I know Sam and his family personally. The best person for that job and maybe the best of all of the PD. It’ a very tough job.

#3 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 10.04.22 at 1:09 pm

But I love Giliberto’s, but then what should a guy do?

#4 D@ily Spin on 10.04.22 at 4:27 pm

Wear a Kevlar vest when you go to Gilberto’s? There’s news today of another cop caught with kiddy porn. Sup with deviants at the city? Transparency could be a surprise people don’t need to know.

#5 Further Fear & Loathing on 10.04.22 at 9:20 pm

Do they make a Kevlar version of those popular Taupeville sleeveless vests? Best to order hard shells, too, because they might better deflect any heat.

#6 My Mistake Mike on 10.05.22 at 8:27 am

Sadly, the local media has allowed police communication to become a 9-5 job. When a serious crime happens on a Friday night, citizens should not be content to wait for information until the police briefing on Monday morning. With more timely info, the public can come forward with information that could help to solve these crimes. Instead, valuable time is lost. We are then left to wonder if we are safe anymore since it seems these crimes seem to go unsolved and forgotten.

#7 Fearing the Fuhrer & More on 10.05.22 at 1:56 pm

Monday morning through Friday morning and only 9 to 5 is called regulatory crime fighting, but then again, a free lunch first.

#8 Sick of Fearing on 10.05.22 at 1:57 pm

What if Giliberto’s offered free midnight snacks for you know who?…. “Taking a bite out of crime”…..

#9 "Woodstock" on 10.05.22 at 10:30 pm

“Say, when is Giliberto’s going to open-up a fourth taco shop like south of 57th, so ‘those people’ can join the real world?”…… #TaupevilleTacos #LimitlessTacos&Shots #SilverStarTacos #OrangeTheoryTacos #NordHariBourgeoisTacos #WhiteChurchTacos #JackInTheBox&VotingBoxTacos #Chick-fil-A’sTacoCousin

#10 D@ily Spin on 10.07.22 at 10:13 am

Transparency is democracy that’s not a good idea here. Exposure would be embarrassing nationally. It’s important to hide the corruption and unconstitutional unethical political environment. We’d lose federal funding and Noem wouldn’t be welcomed in Washington.

#11 D@ily Spin on 10.07.22 at 10:20 am

Is Gilberto’s opening another target range?

#12 Fear Not! on 10.07.22 at 4:04 pm

Well, if Giliberto’s does go south. Maybe they could wedge it in between a new Target and some kind of axe bar….. Although, near a Scarlett’s South, which should be next to Limitless, might be a better location….

#13 D@ily Spin on 10.08.22 at 2:05 pm

‘Guns and Tacos’ is playing at Gilberto’s. Free shots but they shoot at your feet and make you dance Salsa.

#14 Ask Not! on 10.09.22 at 8:20 am

I believe ‘Guns and Tacos’ was actually an old spaghetti western staring Clint Eastwood and Mel Brooks during their acting infancies.

#15 "Woodstock" on 10.09.22 at 8:23 am

“Clint Eastwood and Mel Brooks were in a movie together once?”…. “Wow, how did I miss that one?”…. #MilkDuds #Dots&More #Shots&More