Entries Tagged 'SFPD' ↓

City of Sioux Falls Tidbits

After an incident over the weekend where SFPOs were caught cussing out suspects, the Chief of Police claims there is nothing to see, move along. As I have been saying for years, further proof we need body cams, but as he said last week, no policy changes. Shocker. They also need some diversity training and paid physical fitness time.

Sales taxes are in the crapper, but no surprise. As about 15% of the workforce in Sioux Falls lost their jobs and nobody was spending any money – we saw this coming. I just hope the budget hearings that start tomorrow prepare for this.

Speaking of money, the city could get up to $41 million in Covid money but Mayor Multi-task doesn’t think we need it. The covid crisis is far from over, and as you noticed, the cases in SD remain on an even keel and are NOT going down. If this continues into the fall and winter, we may need some of that money to combat the crisis further. Nothing wrong with planning ahead, wait, this administration doesn’t know what that means. Let’s just keep the libraries and pools closed, that’s the ticket!The Public Transit board met today but no one really knows what is on the agenda because it wasn’t posted on the agenda page. Of course this is a violation of open meetings laws not having the agenda posted (except in this mysterious zoom document). But they have been violating those rules for a couple of years now, why do anything differently?

The City of Sioux Falls does NOT have the right to limit protesters

Many people have been wondering why you would need to get a permit to protest in Sioux Falls. You do not.

Is it a good idea to meet with the SFPD and give them an idea of what you will be protesting and how many people may show up? Sure it is. It’s a nice gesture but not required.

Remember, the US Constitution and your 1st Amendment right to organize and peacefully protest and assemble trumps any state constitution or city charter. While the city can have such an ordinance, it really wouldn’t stand up in Federal court if challenged.

I may be wrong about this, but I think the ordinance came about to break up the kids hanging out downtown while cruising the loop. It has nothing to do with protesting or your 1st Amendment rights.

I encourage anyone protesting in the future to reach out to the SFPD, but don’t get a permit. Besides the enormous powerful message the BLM movement is sending, our right as citizens to peacefully protest is protected already, with a permit or not, and that message needs to also be sent in these troubling times.

SIOUX FALLS 4TH OF JULY PARADE CANCELLED

Mayor TenHaken announced on FB on Friday that the parade has been cancelled this year and the Falls Park feeding.

While I understand serving food to 5,000 people in Falls Park is not a good way to social distance, I think having a parade outside (where people can distance) would be just fine. In fact in my bike rides downtown over the past couple of weeks, DTSF has been packed with people. The bars and restaurants are at capacity and most people are not social distancing. I really don’t understand why the city is so hesitant to open city buildings, pools and libraries when every other place is full capacity (which they gave permission to do in ordinance). Oh that’s right, it goes back to the hypocrisy thing.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson lights the fake protest fire

It appears that Councilor Erickson is the one that sounded the alarm about the fake FB posts about the buses from Fargo. I will defend Christine on one point, if you see something, say something. This is a common theme when it comes to domestic violence. I will commend her on taking action. But my criticism is NOT in saying something, it is about going thru the proper channels. She should have quietly relayed this info to the SF Police Chief Matt Burns and Sheriff Milstead and let them take action. It is not the job of a city councilor to investigate threats. That is the job of law enforcement.

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.

Our Brothers and Sisters are Your Brothers and Sisters

I don’t know if I have ever blogged about this before. One of the main reasons is because I am white. I have close relatives that are Asian, Hispanic, Native American and African American. People I love, not because of their heritage but because they are FAMILY.

Does their color matter? Nope.

I may have shared this a few times, but I lived with my father for a few years in a working class suburb of Seattle when I was in 10th and 11th grade in High School. We lived a few miles from the largest Boeing plant in the company and the largest manufacturing plant in the world at the time. The doors on this place were the size of football fields. FOOTBALL FIELDS!

The school I attended was Mariner High. One of the most diverse schools in the region.

Being a small town white farm boy who never saw a ‘colored’ person in my life, except on TV, was eye opening. I had African American friends, Native friends, Asian friends, but it never occurred to me they were any different. They had the same goals, love of life and interests as me. It never was a revelation, it was reality. I also had gay and transgender friends (this was the late 80’s). I also hung out with metal heads, preps, jocks and punk rockers (I actually made a little coin finishing art projects for the football players).

I guess I never understood hatred based on identity. Sure I dislike certain people, but it was never based on their color, religion or sexual preference.

Some people would accuse me of being a liberal because of my beliefs towards others, I’m not a liberal, I’m a human being. Everyone should believe in equality, it is just being a decent and compassionate person.

And while you struggle with your white privilege, never apologize for it, use it to make other lives better. Speak out against injustice. Don’t apologize or be embarrassed, use your privilege to privilege others. We all need to get along and love each other, it is of the highest importance. We are all in this together. Jesus said it best (or someone who claimed to know Jesus);

“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.” – Psalm 41:1

And don’t just think police violence and domination is towards minorities. Over the past year I saw a drunk WHITE man get mauled by a dog while a SFPO kicked him, I saw another WHITE guy get tackled for flipping the bird and yet another WHITE jailed for weeks because he used hyperbole towards the mayor concerning 5G. None of us are immune folks. George Floyd is any of us, remember that.

These injustices affect us all as Americans. The police have become the judge, jury and to often the executioner. This is not their duty, their duty is to maintain peace, and arrest suspects and let a court and jury of peers decide if they are guilty of a crime.

I could point my finger at a lot of people, but today I will only point my finger at you as a citizen. Freedom is FREE, Speak OUT! It is one freedom they will never take from you unless you allow it!

A different Perspective on the Sunday Night protests

I have a dear South DaCola Soldier who lives out of state (but is from here) that frequents the various ‘city’ cams. She decided to take screenshots Sunday night as things unfolded and leaves us with some great commentary;

I watched the 41st street web cam and the Falls cam a lot.  I happened to look at the 41st street web cam Sunday night just as the cops were arriving. It was one cop with his car blocking traffic and I wondered what was going on.  As I watched more cops come and then the protestors.

After reading your page and the comments decided to send the pictures, maybe you are interested in them.

8:59 PM SF time

9 PM SF Time

Now they have turned right and gone down the street by the car dealer. I think that street is Louise.  The cops have 41 st  blocked so they can’t continue down 41 st.

9:16 pm, they are now all on the sidewalk.  9:18 and the cops are gone and so are the most of the protestors/walkers. The last of them went left through the parking lot or maybe it is part of the car dealer on what I think is Louise Ave.

9:23 pm and they are done.

Whoever is in charge of the camera moved it at least three times towards the stores, Menswear and the restaurant, but couldn’t see any people and the person moved the camera back to looking at 41st. Thought it was interesting, I am pretty sure there was a person watching that had control of the camera. (The mayor said later in an radio interview the EOC was watching)

9:09  pm

9:12 pm

9:15 pm  coming to an end.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson tries to redefine ‘Precinct’

In the city council informational meeting today there was a presentation on leasing space for a Southwest Police Report to Work Station. During the meeting Erickson said that this is NOT a police precinct. Here is the best definition I could find on what a police precinct is;

In the United States, a police precinct is a geographical area patrolled by a police force. The term “precinct” may also refer to the main police station for such a geographical area. Practices and cultures of policing often vary considerably from one precinct to another.

She can claim whatever she wants to, to defend the mayor’s hypocrisy during the mayoral campaign, but, if it walks like a duck, it’s duck.

Sioux Falls Police Chief Burns gets an award? Huh?

Just when you think it is odd that the city revealed a new logo in the middle of a pandemic, now the Municipal League is giving an award to a police chief most of the city hasn’t seen in over a year. Chief Waldo I call him.

Oh but it gets better, while we are still peaking in Sioux Falls and the surrounding MSA, the governor and mayor think it is a good idea to start opening things back up. You know what this will result in? Another spike, and we will have to go back to square one. I personally think we should at least wait until May 15th and re-evaluate the situation. I think at least a week of no new reported cases in SF should occur before we even talk about lifting certain restrictions. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

I also think Smithfield needs to be closed for another two weeks. I hear a lot of crying about the farmers and the packing plant. Well folks, this is what happens when you create a monopoly packing plant and monopoly CAFO corporate farms, you create a monopoly distribution system that doesn’t work in a crisis. Back in the day, family farmers sold their hogs to the highest bidder and had multiple places they could sell them to. This creation of a monopoly system is only the fault of those who perpetuated it upon themselves, and I don’t feel one bit sorry for them. When you sell your soul to Walmart (the dairy industry) and Smithfield (hogs) than you wipe away your distribution options and competition. How did you think this was going to turn out during a crisis like this? The problem is that these corporate farmers most likely have strict contracts they cannot break. In other words, they have to euthanize the hogs before they can sell them to smaller packers or family owned lockers. It’s stupidity and greed on a whole new level. But I see Rounds is looking to bail out their stupidity with our tax dollars, while we bury the bacon in the ground instead of at least giving it away to food banks.

This crisis has shown us one thing – our system in America is broken, very broken, and we don’t seem to want to learn from it.

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.

Now that’s diversity folks!

No women, and not sure if any of them are a minority (one name appears to be of hispanic descent).

Today I helped welcome 12 new Sioux Falls Police Department recruits and their families to the City of Sioux Falls – Municipal Government and to a career of public safety and service. A Marine, Blackhawk pilot, National Guardsman, child services professional, University of Iowa graduate, corrections officer, and many other backgrounds ready for training and answering the call to public safety in Sioux Falls. Please join me in welcoming them! #OneSiouxFalls

This afternoon, Judge Houwman administered the oath to 12 new officers for the Sioux Falls Police Department. They will have several weeks of training before hitting the streets. Congratulations Emilio Hernandez, Mason Millard, Joe Hayes, Isaac Anderson Drew Zoellner, Tanner Pollema, Matthew Jock, Jacob Juelfs, Sam Buhr, Aaron Bennett, Jason Skallberg, and Kyle Grim! /713

The mayor also helped welcome the new recruits with his pants down. Now that’s ‘ONE’ Sioux Falls alright!

I also find it funny that above the post about the new recruits on FB there was this ad (one out of two on the diversity checklist is a start);