SISSETON, S.D. In an effort to combat drug crimes in the state, the Attorney General's office is bringing more local awareness to its anonymous texting program "Project Stand Up." Sisseton is the first to promote the program on a local level and are holding a community outreach dinner on Tuesday to give a little more insight on the project.
Project Stand Up is a simple way for citizens across South Dakota to fight against drug crime with a text message. The resident of any community stays 100% anonymous and the tips go directly to law enforcement in the area.
"We just want to give everybody some tools to help law enforcement to empower them to report what they're seeing, if they're seeing and for them to feel safe when doing so," says Sara McGregor-Okroi, the executive director of Aliive Roberts County.
Sisseton law enforcement officials are excited to get the word out about the project. "We need all the help we can get," explains Jim Croymans, the Chief of Police at the Sisseton Police Department. "Drugs aren't just a problem in Sisseton, they're a problem statewide, nationwide so it'll be a good program for us."
The confidential texting tip-line is a way to get the drugs off the street. Texting a tip is easy - just send the word 'drugs' to 82257 and the tipster will be asked a series of questions after to make sure law enforcement officials are getting all the information they need.
Project Stand Up is seeing plenty of support with businesses in the community. Everyone wants to do their part to solve some of the issues they've had in Sisseton dealing with drugs.
"It affects our healthcare system, all of our dollars in the community and they've all agreed that we need to do something," says Brett Hanson, a business owner in town.
The program will also find its way into the schools this fall to have everyone sign a student pledge to stand up to drug crime.
If you're in the Sisseton area and want to find out more information, the community outreach dinner on Tuesday starts at 5 p.m. in the parking lot at Teal's Market. The event will include local, state and tribal representatives discussing the program, distribution of promotional items as well as free food for everyone in attendance.
Project Stand Up was launched statewide on May 18, 2017 with these partners: Attorney General’s Office, Sanford Health, South Dakota Sheriff’s Association, South Dakota Police Chiefs’ Association and the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
Any communities interested in promoting the Stand Up Program locally are encouraged to call the Attorney General’s Office at 605-773-3215.