Entries Tagged 'Crime' ↓

Mayor TenHaken waits two years to fulfill a campaign promise

It only took almost two years after Paul was elected for him to kind of act on his campaign promise of better public safety;

The Long Game in Public Safety
By Mayor Paul TenHaken

People will occasionally ask me if Sioux Falls is still a safe community, and the answer is always “yes.” Year after year, Sioux Falls’ population has grown steadily as more and more people are drawn to Sioux Falls for career opportunities and our incredible quality of life. During this past year, our crime rate has maintained a low rate—especially when compared to other large cities.

I have often told people this argument rings hollow. The claim is our crime rate has simply grown in comparison to our population growth. Apparently a lot of newborns are dealing drugs and committing these crimes. A very large percent of our population growth is due to current residents having babies, this is something that is never brought up in our population growth problems.

Since I took office, we have expanded our team of police officers investigating drug dealers by adding an additional narcotics sergeant as well as a new Narcotics Crime Unit. These officers are focused on crime tips from members of the public to help put drug dealers out of business.

The rumor going around is that the police department is understaffed by over 20 officers. So while we are spending money to fix the State Theatre, and parapets on the Pavilion, we are not properly staffing our SFPD.

We continue to make strides toward opening the area’s first triage center to provide an alternative treatment path than jail or hospitals for addicts in the midst of a crisis.

Remember the argument for building the new Administration building? We were told the city has ran out of office space, but mysteriously we now have an entire empty building for a triage center. Don’t get me wrong, we need it. But instead of building an admin building 2 years ago we should have built a triage center in conjunction and attached to the new jail.

I’m glad Paul is putting our press releases about being tough on crime, but talk is cheap, and this should have been done the first day he walked into office. Because we all know, if you have a rising crime and drug problem it doesn’t go away by simply ignoring it for two years. Paul has ignored his charter regulated duties of managing the city, his most important and only job, that includes overseeing the police department. And the whole time he ignored these duties he violated the charter by trying to do the council’s job of legislating and setting budgets. It’s time for Paul to do his job and the council to do theirs.

Its time to allow micro-breweries in SD to distribute their own beer, and, time to raise the alcohol tax

I know what you are thinking, a few contradictions there, but not really. I have often believed a tax hike in alcohol would actually help the bar business and give property tax payers a little relief from paying for criminals.

First the distribution issue. Distributors are clearly fighting this because of greed. But they have their excuses;

Distributors, meanwhile, said allowing craft breweries to work as producer, distributor and retailer in some capacity could create problems for the state in collecting tax revenue and for consumers in ensuring their beer meets quality standards.

Breweries would still be paying taxes and as for the quality issue, that is silly. Distributors ARE NOT testing the quality of the product, if they were Coors Light would no longer be available 🙂 This is clearly a way for distributors to reap a commission for basically doing nothing but acting like a keg taxi. Distributors would still be in the picture anyway for mass distribution. All brewers are asking is to brew more beer and sell it from their locations.

As for increasing the alcohol tax, I agree 100% with Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth that it is silly that property tax payers are footing the bill for crimes related to alcohol. I think if alcohol taxes increase, liquor stores and bars will charge more, which in turn could mean bigger profits and less consumption, which means less crime. MPR has a great story about this.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the cost of excessive alcohol use is $2.05 per drink — costs that create financial burdens for federal, state and local governments.

“Currently, federal and state taxes do not even come close to covering those costs,” said Dr. Timothy Naimi, author of a recent article study on state alcohol excise taxes. “Public health is a strong rationale for alcohol taxation. … If we don’t recover the costs related to alcohol sales, then it amounts to a subsidy for people who drink, and who drink excessively.”

I don’t think the habits of casual drinkers would change with a tax increase, but I do think it would help to curb reckless drinking.

More street lights less crime?

From a South DaCola foot soldier;

“I was out and about last night and was surprised at the number of street lights that were out. Sometimes 2 or 3 in a row. I was on the main roads too. I have often pondered why the cops don’t call these in? Sure they are busy but doesn’t lighting up the neighborhoods suppress crime? I did see the light department hard at work yesterday. They are putting up the X-mas lights at Falls Park. People form an opinion of a city by the way it’s maintained and cared for.”

When they are done at Falls Park, maybe they can paint some more Jesus Plows.

Mayor Mike is NOW giving out parenting advice

When I first saw Mike’s press conference I just laughed and said, typical Mike, armchair expert on everything. Than I started getting texts and emails from friends who are ‘Parents’ questioning his intentions.

I will say this, after watching the spectacle, I really think Mike was sincere, I also think he was spot on with a lot of his advice. Parents need to know where their kids are. Kids need to follow curfew and listen to what their parents tell them. All golly gee, gosh darn it, good advice.

But some in the media were not buying it.

Todd Epp from KELO AM asked if this advice would do much good for parents who are meth heads?

On a similar note, would this advice do much good for parents who have 2-3 jobs?

There is also a little hypocrisy with this message of good parenting coming from Mike. This is a mayor that was opposed to free youth bus rides & swimming. He also tried to cut YMCA after school program funding in next year’s budget (the council restored it). All programs that help keep latch key kids out of trouble when their parents are working.

And it really comes down to that. A lot of kids in our community are living in poverty. Ironically the mayor and the city council have the power to change that. They could require new employers coming to SF to pay living wages. They could implement a city minimum wage of $10-11 an hour. They could implement a city wide job training program. And lastly the health department clinic could supply FREE birth control to women (not just condoms) and make LSS aware of the program.

The mayor can blame ‘bad parents’ until the cows come home, but some of these parents aren’t bad, they just are too busy working to pay much attention to their kids.

As I have said in the past, we don’t have an affordable housing or food supply problem in Sioux Falls, we have a wage problem. Poverty breeds crime that trickles down to the kids.

Cameraman Bruce talks Security Cameras

Lock your doors, turn your lights on, trim your bushes, ACTION!

Councilor Erpenbach, you are the ‘Embarrassment’


I watched the city council debate tonight over Wiley’s license;

The Sioux Falls City Council voted to allow the renewal of a liquor license for Wiley’s Tavern in downtown Sioux Falls after more than a half-hour of debate.

City Councilors Greg Neitzert, Theresa Stehly, and Pat Starr visited the popular downtown bar on Friday amid their concerns about the disproportionate calls to Police. They shared their stories, and questioned bar officials about the business and security practices. The Councilors said it was never their intention to pull the bar’s liquor license, but they wanted to use the forum to discuss the bar’s practice of serving patrons alcohol even after they appear intoxicated.

Though councilors Kiley, Erpenbach and Mayor Huether felt the debate wasn’t necessary, I think if a bar has 165 police calls in 9 months, we should be very concerned. Mr. Duncan, the bar’s attorney argued that they get 5x more police calls because they do 5x more business then competing bars. What concerns me more then the obvious over serving is the cost to taxpayers. Let’s say each police call costs us at a minimum $100 a pop, that is $16,500 of tax dollars spent on a bar making loads of money over serving people. How are we making that money back. We are not.

Councilor Michelle Erpenbach called the entire debate an “embarrassment”.

Councilors Stehly, Starr and Neitzert pointed out they were not embarrassed for doing due diligence. Michelle should be embarrassed that while she has been on council she hasn’t done any due diligence. Greg went on to say it was the duty of the city council to review a bar (which is a public place) that has that volume of calls before approving a license;

“The question is why so many police calls?” asked Neitzert.

Pat Starr was also disappointed that there would be no public input and got into with the mayor after stopping the roll call vote by saying ‘Point of Order’.

After a lengthy debate, the Council voted 7-1 to renew the Wiley’s liquor license. Councilor Pat Starr was the lone “no” vote.

The debate ended on a testy exchange between Mayor Mike Huether and Councilor Pat Starr, who wanted to take public input on the matter, but Mayor Huether called for a roll call vote.

The mayor told Pat he has been doing this for 7 years and doesn’t allow public input. Pat told him he disagreed. The mayor hates it when things get ‘messy’ because it makes him look bad. You look bad ‘High Crimes’ Mike because you are neglecting to address crime in our city. I applaud any city councilor that is trying to get a handle on our ‘high crime’ city.

On a separate note, I am also concerned about taxpayers when it comes to Wiley’s hiring off-duty police to be security. The starting pay for officers in Sioux Falls is $49,000 a year. Do they need a part-time job? And if so, should they be running security? I also question how many of these security officers leave Wiley’s at 3 AM after a stressful night, then report to patrol our streets the next morning. How can they do their #1 job if they may be tired and stressed from their part-time job? While I don’t take issue with them having a second job or even their own business on the side, it should be prohibited that they work in a high stress security position. Working for the public’s safety should be their #1 priority.

Should the city gift the old ice complex to the Glory House?


As I argued last night at the city council meeting during public input, the city would have true value in the old building by selling it or gifting it to the Glory House;

“One of the options is to allow the Glory House to expand. The Glory House is just adjacent to this piece of property,” Starr said.

The Glory House, which helps former inmates find jobs to get back on their feet and transition back into society, is already working with a developer to tear down the old building and construct 50 to 75 affordable housing units here.

“Over 80% of the people who graduate from the Glory House have full time jobs, what they’re having difficulties with is being able to find a place to live,” Starr said.

“We’re not in the land speculating business, we’re in the human services business as far as I’m concerned,” Starr said.

As I said last night, this is truly a ‘value’ issue for taxpayers. By keeping former ex-cons out of jail, we save the taxpayers money, a lot of money. It only makes sense to sell them the property. Even Erpenbach nodded her head at me in agreement while speaking of the issue. I think this will get a majority of the council to approve this sale. Ironically, while everyone is throwing Stehly under the bus, her and Starr were the first to look into this issue.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Stehly on Neighborhood Watch

At Large Sioux Falls City Council member Theresa Stehly on the push for more Neighborhood Watch programs prior to the Mayor’s questionable bad neighbor presser on June 22, 2016.

Theresa wants to encourage a spirit of kindness, respect and support for all the citizens of Sioux Falls. Expanding the project nice program to a city wide clean-up day would be one step to help all the citizens with tax dollars. Other communities like Fargo and Brookings do it and so can we.

We can work together to foster a helpful loving community for all citizens . The neighborhood watch program has been a fabulous tool for her area for the past 20 years.

Theresa Stehly is out in the community encouraging neighbors to look out for neighbors to help when and where needed.

Mayor Huether; The best way to combat crime in our community is to close your garage door and avoid the crazies.

In the latest episode of Greg Belfrage’s Mayoral blab fest, once again, Mike is in complete denial of the rising violent crime rate in our city and blows it off as a result of fast growth, meth and alcohol use and mental illness. Huh? We will get to that in a moment.

But before all the talk about locking up your car and crime, the mayor told Smello radio listeners that we have ALWAYS paid for infrastructure upgrades to sewer and water from the enterprise funds.

Now I think he is just lying for the fun of it.

He also thanked councilors Anderson and Karsky for getting the EC built and Snowgates tested, then mumbled something about struggling with Jamison and Staggers.

But back to crime. While it should be NO surprise the chief denier is in denial over our soaring crime rates, his comment about blaming the mentally ill for this rise in crime is neither productive OR truthful.

He gets on the other Smello media source and says;

many Sioux Falls crimes stem from drug and alcohol abuse, as well as mental illness.

The city is going to combat each of these issues? I know it’s illegal to be drunk or high walking down the street, but now it’s going to attract attention from city officials if you have a mental health issue and dare to go out in public?

I guess the county jail had better stock up on cots and plan on at least two people per cell when there’s a concert at the event center, the city is going to start rounding up not only the homeless, but alcoholics, drug addicts, and people with mental health issues too.

So while the state has formed a task force to ensure people with mental illness get better treatment than they do now, and hopefully spend less time in South Dakota’s criminal justice system, once again the Sioux Falls Mayor knows better and instead has preemptively decided that people with mental health issues are criminals and a matter of public concern. Hello ACLU?

No wonder the city can’t keep a human rights coordinator.


Still a mystery why former SF Firefighter was hacking emails?

So was anyone at this sentencing or have access to a transcript?

A former Sioux Falls city fire official won’t serve jail time for unlawfully accessing the fire chief’s email account.

A judge on Monday sentenced Patrick Warren to three years of supervised probation and 100 hours of community service.

He pleaded guilty in December to unlawful use of a computer and in exchange, prosecutors dropped 14 other counts against the former division chief.

Warren looked at Fire Chief Jim Sideras’ email account and saw confidential messages between Sideras and Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel.

Still curious why he was doing this and if he acted alone. Seems shady.