New Narcotics Crime Unit Created
A new unit within the Police Department will begin operating in August. The new Narcotics Crime Unit (NCU) will have two detectives who will focus on drug enforcement to improve the quality of life for residents of Sioux Falls.
This new unit will supplement the enforcement efforts of the Police Narcotics Section and the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force (SFADTF). These efforts by the NCU would free up narcotics detectives to prioritize their efforts to work larger drug trafficking cases to ultimately disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.
“Over the last few years, drugs have become a major driver in many of the crimes in Sioux Falls,” said Police Chief Matt Burns. “By creating the Narcotics Crime Unit, we hope to reduce the crime that follows drug use and reduce the amount of illegal drugs in our city.”
“Reducing drug use in Sioux Falls starts at the street level,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Under Chief Burns’ leadership, the NCU’s focus will strengthen our ability to get drugs out of the hands of users and help reduce crime and improve public safety.”
Over the past several years, narcotics cases have steadily risen in Sioux Falls. From 2015 to 2017, there was a 24 percent increase in the number of drug cases, methamphetamine arrests went up 77 percent, and methamphetamine distribution arrest numbers have gone up 62 percent. In the first quarter of 2018 (January–April), the SFADTF seized over 32 pounds of meth and there were seven fatal opiate overdoses.