Entries Tagged 'SFPD' ↓

Sioux Falls PO looks the other way while kid urinates near bike trail

Just in case any superior officer with the force is reading this, it occurred around 6:30 PM tonight at Cherry Rock park with an officer on an ATV.

As I was riding by the ball fields tonight at Cherry Rock park I noticed a game going on, to my surprise only a couple hundred feet from the portable bathroom a player about 10-12 years old (who should know better) in his full baseball uniform and hat had his wang out and was peeing right along the trail, as I yelled at him to knock if off while riding by, he just laughed and continued, at that moment I looked over and an officer on an ATV talking to a parent looked over as I pointed at the kid, he just turned around and continued to talk to a parent.

Urinating in public, next to a baseball game and near a bike trail wouldn’t you think the officer would have said something? Nope. Apparently it is OK to urinate in a public park as long as you are wearing a youth sports uniform (I told you that is all people care about in this town).

Ironically, after I did my downtown loop, I did see the same ATV cop chasing some transients out from under the Cliff Avenue bridge, so he does have his priorities. None of them were urinating . . . yet.

I never want anyone ever to tell me to my face that our cops are overworked and underpaid, because it is complete B.S.!

Lincoln, NE Police Chief inquiry includes input from the Public, a National Search and recognizing Experience and Diversity

Sioux Falls is often compared to Lincoln due to similarities in size (they have about 100K more people). Recently they started a search for a new police chief. The first thing they did was engage the public before the search even started asking them in a public forum what they wanted in a new chief. They also performed a National search in which 3 of the 4 finalists come from other states, and only one candidate is internal (currently a retired Captain from the force). They also have tons of experience (Between 20-30 years) and notice that TWO are women and THREE are minority.

I’m not saying Sioux Falls should do identical to what Lincoln did, but it is obvious they put a little effort into it, instead of turning on the cruise control. Often when I am critical of our city government I will bring up openness, ethics and competency. This contrast between Lincoln and Sioux Falls blatantly shows how we have a ‘go it alone’ attitude instead of learning from other communities. One of the reasons we send our elected officials to national governing conferences is to learn from other communities (and I am NOT talking about that right-winger conference Neitzert went to) I’m talking about non-partisan events like National League of Cities.

The contrast between how Lincoln did this and how we did this is startling, and frankly pretty embarrassing.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda June 14-15, 2021

Police Chief Finalists Meet and Greet • Monday June 14 • 5:30 PM, Belbas Theater at the Washington Pavilion

The public is invited to meet the final candidates for the City’s next Police Chief during a “Conversation with the Candidates” event at 5:30 p.m. June 14 in the Belbas Theater at the Washington Pavilion. The final candidates for the position are Lt. Nick Cook and Lt. Jonathan Thum, who both currently serve with the Sioux Falls Police Department (SFPD).

The event will be an opportunity for the candidates to introduce themselves to the community. A meet and greet will be held from 5:30-6 p.m. in the Belbas Lobby, followed by a moderated conversation from 6:15-7 p.m. with the candidates in the Belbas Theater. Attendees will be able to suggest questions for the candidates prior to entering the theater.

Districting Commission • Monday June 14 • 5:30 PM • Carnegie Town Hall

(Yeah, apparently the city needs to schedule this important meeting at the same time as meeting the Police Chief candidates. I often tell people when it comes to openness in government it’s the smallest and simplest things, like not scheduling two important meetings at the same time. Open government is NOT complicated and doesn’t need someone to provide recommendations or a list as many have asked me to do. I have often said, if it doesn’t have to do with city employees private records or pending litigation, it should be open for review by the public, and that’s basically what state law says also.)

The Commission will discuss maps and a timeline.

Informational Meeting • Tuesday June 15 • 4 PM • Carnegie Town Hall

Presentations on the USD Discovery Center (I think they will be asking for more money from the city), the May Financial Report and Workforce Housing Study (and as I mentioned above, only one of the presentations has supporting docs already posted. Not sure why these cannot already be posted before Tuesday. It’s the simple things folks, like allowing citizens to review documents before the meeting).

Regular Meeting • Tuesday June 15 • 6 PM • Carnegie Town Hall

TIFs and a lot of other garbage.

Mayor Ten Haken whittles the Police Chief choice down to two lieutenants

Well, I wasn’t surprised that the candidates were picked internally;

“Conversation with the Candidates” will take place at the Belbas Theater at the Washington Pavilion next Monday at 5:30 pm. The two final candidates are Sioux Falls Police Lt. Jonathan Thum and Lt. Nick Cook.

After the announcement today, some have been asking why a couple of mid-rank officers got the hat tip and not a captain? I asked someone in the know if any applied, they replied ‘YES’. There have been several rumors floating around that the top brass including the current police chief haven’t been making Paul very happy, and maybe the reason he most likely is going to promote from the 2nd tier.

I have heard both officers are well liked and equal in qualifications. But I’m guessing the prettier one will probably prevail 🙂

UPDATE: City of Sioux Falls(?) finally addressing panhandlers?

UPDATE: The sign was gone this morning and must have been removed last night. Me thinks someone wasn’t quite following the rules.

Imagine my surprise today while driving down Cliff at the intersection of 14th Street when I saw the traffic sign below, which read in 3 frames; GIVE TO . . . CHARITY . . . NOT TO PANHANDLERS.

At first I thought this may be the handy work of the city, but I am not sure, there wasn’t much info from the sign itself. If it is the city, I guess I should say ‘thanks’ for finally doing something, but this wasn’t my suggestion, I said to put in permanent signage at the intersections informing motorists it is illegal to impede traffic while handing money out the window with the listed ordinance and fine.

I’m also not even sure if this is following sign code, even if the city put it up. Also, what is it costing taxpayers? If this was a private political donation of sorts, shouldn’t there be a disclaimer?

If the city truly did this (it is on city bike trail property) it would be nice if the mayor or the part-time mayor, Beck, at least put out a press release about it.

While I applaud the administration for possibly doing this, I continue to be baffled by the way these things are done. Cruise control government at it’s finest.

Maybe they should put a Girl Scout cookie stand next to it?

Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken selects Rubberstamp Hiring Committee for future Police Chief

Let’s not kid ourselves, this panel which consists of two city employees who work for Paul, and a person who rents private office space from him isn’t really going to get too ‘edgy’ and suggest Paul hires someone externally or qualified;

The hiring panel plans to identify the finalists by mid-June. At that point, the community will be invited to meet and interact with the finalists. Details regarding the public engagement opportunity will be outlined at a later date.

What is this, an episode of ‘SURVIVOR’? While I would most certainly disagree with whatever internal yahoo the mayor picks, it is ultimately his decision, so why all the smoke and mirrors to make it appear someone else is picking the new chief? Well, because he is a Sh!tty leader and we all know this.

By charter, as the city’s employee manager if I were advising the mayor I would spend some of that moldy developer welfare money on a consultant that would review external, nationwide candidates and also review internal candidates. Pick two from each category and make a personal selection from there.

While I agree public engagement is needed, let’s face it, the job of a city manager is to hire qualified directors, Joe 6-Pack, like myself may have an opinion on it, but what do I know about hiring police chiefs? Ironically, what does the color blind graphic artist know about it either?

I still think that the mayor needs to hire an external bulldog that will clean up the internal mess while mending the relationship with the community. And on day one I would enforce a physical fitness policy and tell the hospitals to shut off the FREE feeding trough. Our police make well over a living wage, they can afford to pack a sack lunch.

Was the Police Chief asked to retire?

There seems to be a lot of speculation surrounding the exit of the Police Chief. If you look at his record over the past 6 years, little has been accomplished. Sex trafficking is on the rise, drug crimes and murder is on the rise, panhandling is out of control and body cams still have to be implemented. There is also still no physical fitness plan for the police like there is for the fire department. I wouldn’t call Matt Burns tenure a complete failure, but he certainly hasn’t achieved much more than putting himself into a higher pension bracket.

I have also heard through city hall moles that there have been several complaints filed against him for basically just warming a chair, not just from citizens but internally from other officers, and mayor stoneless is well aware.

I’m hoping they will do a national search for a new chief, but we know how the sh!t runs down hill in the Police and Fire Department. So it looks like a Chief Barthel 3.0 is in store for us.

Panhandling in Sioux Falls is almost at a Crisis Stage

While our Mayor is frosting cakes with his daughter on FB and making bets on college basketball, panhandling in Sioux Falls has become out of control.

As I often mention on this site, the city charter is pretty clear, the city council handles policy and the mayor runs the city, that means he is in charge of the police department and the city council doesn’t have the authority to tell them how to handle crime in our city. However, they can create policy and ordinances that the police would have to enforce.

Over the past couple of years panhandling has been getting worse. This year was the first year in Sioux Falls I saw them ALL YEAR LONG. I have even seen them on days when it was below zero. Their two favorite spots are East 10th and 14th Street on Cliff Avenue. But I have seen them downtown for the first time in over 20 years. It is at a crisis stage and it seems our mayor, our city council, our county commission and the police department are playing a game of whack a mole instead of a permanent fix to the problem.

While it is well within panhandlers 1st Amendment rights to ask for money on a street corner, there are limitations. They cannot walk into traffic or impede traffic. But it also goes for vehicle operators. You shouldn’t be handing money out of the window of your car while idling in traffic.

I think there are some simple solutions we can start with that would have an impact right away;

• Stop giving violations to the panhandlers and triage them. I know we are waiting for the Triage Center to open, but we can still help these people now, in fact it would have been a great way to spend some of the Covid stimulus money but our cruise control government had different ideas.

• The homeless shelters need to help them. We partially fund these facilities with tax dollars, if they are NOT helping them to rehabilitate it is time to cut the funding. I’m not concerned if Bill the panhandler accepts JC as his savior, I want him to get sober, get help and stop running in traffic.

• Hourly police patrols breaking them up in troubled areas.

And this is where the city council and county commission would have to do some heavy lifting;

• Instead of fining panhandlers for walking in traffic, we need to have an ordinance that fines vehicle operators for handing money out of the window. The fine should be somewhere between $100-200 and only applies if you are sitting in traffic in a running vehicle and handing the money out of the window. If you pull over and park in a safe place and get out of the vehicle and give money, that would not apply.

• Anytime one of these troubled areas pops up, there should be very visible traffic signage put up that says ‘MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM MOTOR VEHICLE PROHIBITED. $100 FINE, CITY ORD 000’

The way to fix this problem is not by punishing the panhandlers it is about shutting off the faucet. If you want to help them financially the best thing to do is donate your time or money to one of the shelters in town, the Banquet or even the Triage Center. You are not helping these individuals by handing them beer money from your car, you are creating a very dangerous situation on so many levels.

Mayor TenHaken made a pledge when he was running for mayor, he said he hopes to shut down all the shelters in town because he was going to wipeout homelessness in our community. How is the campaign promise coming along? The city cannot even stream a live video of a public meeting, how can we expect them to fix this problem?

It takes little bites and baby steps, but that isn’t even happening.

Panhandling has gotten so bad over the past couple of years in my neighborhood I have considered putting together a neighborhood security group that will go as a group and break these panhandlers up when the police won’t. It is well within my 1st Amendment rights to ask these people to move along and I have done it several times over the past couple of years without physical threats. I simply explain to them that it is the neighborhood I live in, and don’t want that kind of activity going on there, and when they moan and groan I just take out my phone and tell them that the police will be there shortly. That usually gets them moving. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a simple conversation.

Trust me, I feel for these folks, but by allowing them to continue to beg for beer money doesn’t help us and doesn’t help them, it is f’ing futile!!!!!

I pay taxes and vote for a reason. It’s time our supposed city and county leaders to put on their big kid pants and act.

‘I’m just filling in.’ (H/T JR)

A foot soldier sent me this video of some roaming gun rights dude (who first calls it Sioux Falls, Minnesota) and reveals some interesting rules about carrying weapons in public buildings in South Dakota. As far as I know, he was correct in his assessment, you can’t legally carry into courthouses, schools or the capital building, but all other public buildings are free game. I have often told the city council that Carnegie Hall is a dangerous place because they don’t limit firearms, and as we saw in this video just filmed a few weeks ago, apparently you can bring them into public health facilities.

Oh, and Mr. Filling In security guard . . . WOW!

City of Sioux Falls to hire Police Recruiter

The city is going to add a person to the already crowded HR department and pay them between $63-70K a year to read police officer applications. Since the rules have changed and the city can now train it’s own officers it makes sense to have someone who can recruit and retain officers.

But I have some concerns. First the obvious, while most jobs listed on employment sites for the city pay around $12 an hour (seasonal part-time) I’m curious about paying someone this much especially when starting pay for officers is around $50K a year. Secondly, while the HR department should have someone specializing in this, I hardly think this will take up 40 hours a week. They could easily have another person in the office handling this. Also remember this person is essentially a screener, I’m sure applicants that make it thru the process will be interviewed by the Police Chief before being hired. It would probably be cheaper to hire a consultant to find applicants than having a full-time person. This is how the city has operated for a very long time, throwing pennies to the union minions and big time salaries to mid-management to work from their basements.

The city does need to recruit officers, but seriously, use the overpaid staff you already have in HR.