Citizens Voice Shooting Concerns at Town Hall
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-Sioux Falls Police have responded to 10 reports of gunshots on the city’s east side in the past two weeks. Two of those are believed to be gang related. This uptick has left residents feeling unsafe. Tuesday there was at a town hall meeting where police addressed concerns about all the recent gun crime.
Hundreds of concerned neighbors showed up to the meeting. Many said they are scared and want to know why this increase in gun violence is happening. Police say with the population growth in Sioux Falls, it’s brought some challenges. To deal with the growing issue of gun violence, they have allocated more resources to the Kenny Anderson Area where this seems to be a problem in order to be proactive.
During the meeting citizens asked the officers questions. A big one on everyone’s mind is what can folks do to make the community safer. Officers say what helps them the most during investigations is the community. If you see something suspicious they want you to report it, even if it seems like a minor detail.
“Often times as little as ‘We saw what was a blue car, maybe older,’ those kind of leads develop into significant leads that sometimes break the cases for us. It’s that partnership with the community that we talk about. We are stronger together and we need you to call us when you see something,” said Lieutenant Adam Petersen with the Sioux Falls Police Dept.
Sioux Falls Police say the suspects behind this gun crime are both juveniles and adults. And the majority of weapons involved are stolen from cars or homes. They ask that people safely secure their guns, so this doesn’t happen.
Police also mentioned that some of the shootings have been gang related, but want residents to know that there is no national gang organization affiliated with the gangs in town.
After the meeting many neighbors say they feel better now that their concerns have been addressed.
“I thought that the police department covered that thoroughly. A lot of questions that the citizens had were answered and there are still officers here asking questions, so I think the biggest concern of coarse was safety,” said Margaret Sutton.
“I truly didn’t expect to see almost what I calculated to be 400 people here and I think perhaps the police department was also pleased that the neighborhood people cared enough to come out tonight. So I think it was a good experience for both parties,” said Tom Smotherman.
Again officers say the best way you can help is by giving any details related to crimes. You can anonymously report a crime tip to Crime Stoppers at 605-367-7007.