Rep. Noem Visits With Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office

Takes Ride Along & Jail Tour, Announces New Law Enforcement Legislation

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.— Doors to the Minnehaha County Jail opened for U.S. Representative Kristi Noem on Thursday.

A visit most don’t want to have, Noem came to see what life for law enforcement in the county is like with a ride along and a tour.

In one case, the job came to her.

“I had the opportunity to ride along with the fugitive task force and to see them actually go out after someone, a warrant had been issued for, and see them bring them into custody,” said Noem.

Noem said she plans to cosponsor several pieces of legislation, intended on helping law enforcement fight illegal drugs.

One of the focus areas is putting more attention on the Mexican border, including adding 10,000 National Guard troops.

Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said any efforts to secure the border would be a “big win.”

“We know in South Dakota, probably 85 to 95 percent of our methamphetamine and heroine comes from south of the border,” said Milstead.

When speaking with officers on the job, Noem noted a common thread when it comes to needs: more bodies and more vehicles.

“A lot of them are funding related and a lot of that we can probably cooperate better on here at the federal level but also the state level,” said Noem.

In the last five years, South Dakota has received $13 millioN in grants to help bolster law enforcement.

However, Minnehaha County hasn’t seen any of that money.

Following her Thursday visit, Noem said she hopes to bring something back.

“I’m a big believer that what you see you carry in your heart, you remember it more. I could read about statistics all day on paper but if you see it and experience it and talk to the people it effects, you’re going to be a lot more passionate about it when you’re working on behalf of those issues,” said Noem.

One of Noem’s plans is to open more funding through “cops grants” to help agencies like Minnehaha County Sheriff’s hire and train more officers.

Specifically, she hopes to provide incentives for communities that hire and train veterans for law enforcement positions.

Last November, the Minnehaha County Commission approved a $46 million jail expansion to help with overcrowding issues.

Here is a list provided by Rep. Noem’s office regarding the specific legislation she plans to cosponsor:

  • R.1428, American Law Enforcement Heroes Act, which opens additional funding for police departments to hire and train career law enforcement officers.  More specifically, the bill allows Community Oriented Policing Services Program grants to be used for these purposes and encourages the prioritization of hiring and training veterans.
  • R.1741, Transnational Criminal Organization Illicit Spotter Prevention and Elimination Act, which makes it illegal to “spot” for drug traffickers at the border. Without this change, helping drug traffickers avoid law enforcement when crossing the U.S.-Mexico border (known as “spotting”) is not an enforceable offense.
  • R.22, Support More Assets, Resources, and Technology on the Border Act (SMART Act), which authorizes the deployment of additional personnel and new technologies to secure the border. This includes an authorization for as many as 10,000 additional members of the National Guard to be deployed to the border.
  • R.1057, Synthetics Trafficking ad Overdose Prevention Act (STOP Act), which is designed to help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers in the U.S.

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