Noem, Local Businesses Talk Rising Crime Rates
Sioux Falls, S.D.- Drug crimes are increasing which is motivating Sioux Falls business owners and officials on finding a solution to keep the community safer.
“It surprises me to still hear that people don’t feel that crime is a problem in Sioux Falls because the numbers and the stats that we see will say the opposite. Its growing and it’s growing quite substantially,” says Click Rain Founder and Mayoral Candidate Paul Ten Haken.
Congresswoman Kristi Noem sat down with small business owners, criminal defense lawyers, community leaders and a former drug addict.
Most of the conversation focused on drugs, specifically meth and the addiction it causes which can lead to other serious crimes.
In 2017, the Sioux Falls Police Department handled about three thousand drug cases, but Representative Noem wants to find a better solution when it comes to a drug offender’s recovery.
“We have first-time offenders that maybe get released immediately on probation and there’s not really much we can do to help them with a drug issue they may be dealing with or if they’re committing a crime. But then the next time we see them, it might be after they’ve committed multiple crimes and they’re going to the penitentiary,” Representative Noem tells us.
As the CEO of Fiero Pizza, Jennifer Kelly says she’s seen drugs affect one of her young employees, going from a high school football star to stealing money from the register to pay for their addiction.
Ten Haken says Sioux Falls still has a thriving economy despite rising crime rates.
“Businesses aren’t quite seeing a huge fallout from that, I think it’s still a very safe place to have a business, I think consumers and shoppers still feel safe doing business in Sioux Falls. But it’s a big enough problem that we can have a significant impact on it if we address it now, but we don’t want to let it get too far down the road,” says Ten Haken.
Representative Noem also says she’s had conversations with officials and business owners in Rapid City because they have also seen an increase in crime.