Police Top 10 Wins

  1. PoliceDowntown Safety: The Sioux Falls Police Department added a sergeant who is specific to overseeing downtown activities and developing relationships with downtown businesses, residents, and visitors. In addition, we have designated specific officers on all three shifts whose primary responsibility is building community relationships with downtown residents and businesses, along with monitoring crime patterns.
  2. Leadership Transition: The department experienced a successful transition of leadership in 2015 when both the Chief and Assistant Chief retired. Lt. Matt Burns first was appointed Assistant Chief and then became Chief in October. Captain Galen Smidt then was named the new Assistant Chief of the Sioux Falls Police Department.
  3. Homicide Clearance Rate: The department successfully investigated three homicide cases in 2015. All resulted in the arrest of the suspect. The department also made an arrest from a 2011 homicide cold case in which a suspect was charged with that death. Sioux Falls has not had an unsolved homicide since 1999.
  4. Training Room Remodel: The training area at the Law Enforcement Center underwent a major remodel in 2015. The new space gives the department the capacity to host training and schools for 50+ students. Updated state-of-the-art equipment and a bigger space helps officers stay up-to-date on current skills to maintain their certifications and provides specialized, advanced training for officers in the entire region. The renovation also included upgrades to the media briefing area, an important component to keeping communication lines open with the media and community.
  5. Building Relationships: A new community engagement event, Coffee With a Cop, was introduced in 2015. During these now regular events, officers and supervisors meet at designated coffee shops and restaurants to interact with citizens about topics citizens want to visit about. In December, officers held an all-day event at the Empire Mall, which was a huge success. This program is meant to continue to build relationships and trust with the community.
  6. Taser Implementation: In 2015, the Sioux Falls Police Department introduced the use of Tasers, and all 235 sworn officers were trained in their use prior to deployment. Tasers compliment the other tools available to officers, give officers another less-than-lethal option when confronted with force, and reduce the risk of injury to both officers and suspects.
  7. Community Engagement: In the summer of 2015, community meetings were held in each quadrant of the community. These meetings introduced supervisors and officers who work these areas to the residents who live in the area. The meetings were held in the community centers, met with great success, and helped form open and direct lines of communication in case any future problems arise.
  8. Outreach to Diverse Communities: The Sioux Falls Police Department has developed a relationship with the Multi-Cultural Center, and specific officers have been attending social gatherings and meetings of various diversity groups. This has been a huge success and has been instrumental in building stronger community relationships.
  9. New Database for Missing Children: The department helped in the creation of a database for quicker recovery of missing children with special needs. This was a collaborative effort between the Crimes Against Persons Section detectives, MultiMedia Support, and citizens. In this proactive approach to assist in the search for missing children with special needs, parents of special needs children can voluntarily submit information about their child to the department. In the event the child goes missing, that information will be readily available to all officers in an effort to find them as quickly and safely as possible.
  10. Working With Businesses: The Sioux Falls Police Department partnered with the Minnehaha County State Attorney’s Office to increase efficiency regarding bad check and gas skip cases. This year, a new policy was implemented that puts the responsibility on the business to better manage incoming checks and prepay for gas purchases. This has already proven to be a big win and has greatly reduced the time needed to collect reports and pursue civil complaints.