Police Top 10 Wins
- Addressing Issues in Some Downtown Area Parks
Proactive Police enforcement, attentive Parks and Recreation employees, and engaged neighborhoods made a positive difference in several central Sioux Falls parks. The Sioux Falls Police Department stepped up efforts early on in the spring and proactively added resources from parks officers, patrol officers, school resource officers, and bike patrols. Education was followed by enforcement, and officers routinely patrolled and interacted with park patrons in efforts to reduce nuisance crimes. Calls for service were reduced by more than 50 percent, and the parks are again family-friendly places to enjoy nature and recreation.
- Social Media Campaign/Twitter/Facebook
In 2016, efforts were made to expand the Sioux Falls Police Department’s interaction with the public via social media. Through social media, officers are able to immediately converse with the general public relating to a wide variety of items including missing people/children, specific crimes occurring in their neighborhoods, community policing events, traffic-related issues and street closures, and the general day-to-day duties of an officer.
- Crime Lab Accreditation
In order to enhance the public’s confidence in the Sioux Falls Police Department’s Crime Lab, the Crime Lab took its first steps toward accreditation to the international standards in 2009. The Crime Lab spent the next six years preparing, training, auditing, and improving its quality, administrative, and technical systems to ultimately pass its ISO 17025:2005 accreditation assessment. As a result, the Crime Lab has achieved its certificate of accreditation in two forensic disciplines (Controlled Substance Analysis and Toxicology) from ANAB (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board) in March 2016. This achievement is just a checkpoint on the road to laboratory-wide accreditation that this lab will undergo in the next two years. Of approximately 7,000 to 10,000 federal, state, and local forensic units in the U.S., only about 385 of them have achieved this accreditation.
- Awarded COPS Grant for Two Officers
Through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, the Sioux Falls Police Department was awarded a $250,000 grant over three years to offset the cost of two new officers. The grant was written to allow these officers to build and enhance relationships in the community.
- Project Safe Streets
In 2016, the Sioux Falls Police Department implemented a community policing-based approach aimed at mitigating violent crime in the core neighborhoods of central Sioux Falls. This project was successful in reducing violent crime with regular resources. This approach educated an entire shift of young officers on how problems can be solved using community policing principals and partnered them with outside agencies in order to combat citywide issues.
- A Renewed and Successful Partnership With CrimeStoppers
Through a new P3 Tips app for mobile devices, those with information regarding crimes have an even easier way to submit tips. The tipster can now log in and update previously submitted tips, check on the status of a tip, upload video files, upload photographs, or upload audio files. The app also allows for multilingual communication for the tipsters. The dissemination and follow-up of tips also has been greatly streamlined. Investigators are able to work their tips and clear them on their own without having to print off a physical copy of the tip and return it to a supervisor. Additionally, if a tipster updates a tip, the assigned investigator receives an immediate notification, making the process faster and more efficient. This updated program has been a very successful tool for our community members and our department.
- New Police Officers Hired and Trained
In 2016, 36 new officers were hired and trained by the training staff. Twenty-nine of these new hires are currently in different phases of their field training and basic officer training in Pierre. With this many new hires in a year, it takes a significant amount of time and dedication by the training staff. Due to a very high training standard, not all of the new hires make it through the training process. It is our continual goal to lower the number of people who do not make it through their probationary year.
- Event Coverage
Sioux Falls Police Department officers worked approximately 120 events, monitored 48 permitted rallies, and assisted the Secret Service with two presidential campaign stops in 2016. Approximately 750,000 people who attended those events (400,000 in the month of July alone) were provided safety and security without any serious issues or incidents.
- Major Outdoor Range Updates
In the fall/winter of 2016, the outdoor shooting range received some needed updates. A new metal bullet trap system was installed by Action Target to replace the current bullet trap, which had been in use since 1993. The improvements will allow for a full ten lanes, as the new bullet trap will be a full 4 feet wider than the current trap. The new target system will allow more realistic training for officers by engaging moving targets in addition to static targets.
- OHS Traffic Enforcement Grant
The department’s 2015–2016 Office of Highway Safety traffic enforcement grant was a huge success. From October 2015 to September 2016, Sioux Falls Police Department officers wrote 6,416 citations, 1,144 written warnings, and gave 2,346 verbal warnings. There is no doubt that these efforts have helped to make Sioux Falls a safe city to drive in, as it has been proven that efforts such as these reduce traffic crashes.