Whether it be homicides, shootings or burglaries, Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether says many times there's meth abuse behind the crimes. He says now is the the time to 'get our head out of the sand' and shine a brighter light on the issue.
"This meth deal is real and it's hitting us big time and it's hurting us in ways we cannot imagine," said Huether.
During his last seven years in office, Huether says meth has come up more in conversation. The most recent one was in late August, which included other Mayors from across the state; all recognized that they're facing the same problem.
"That's what we talked about as a team. We're going 'wow, yeah, we are dealing with this more and more and more'," said Huether.
Huether says cities like Sioux Falls are seeing an increase in violent crimes and property crimes and many have meth somewhere in the equation. Just last week, three men were arrested after authorities uncovered a handgun, large amounts of marijuana, and two pounds of meth from a vehicle and a Sioux Falls home.
Huether said, "When you read about these stories, about someone that busted into a home or busted into a convenience store or it was a drug deal gone bad, more times than not it is that drug user just trying to get that fix for the day."
That's why Huether wants talk about the drug in a more upfront fashion in an effort to help curb the problem.
Huether said, "We can only blame ourselves when we allow this to happen to our communities."
All this week city officials will be talking to the media about meth. Huether says we'll hear statistics and facts about the drug that we haven't heard before. Along with the Rapid City Mayor and Rapid City Police Chief, Sioux Falls Police will talk about how the drug is impacting crime later this week.