With the Salvation Army Warming Center's doors not open yet, the Sioux Falls Police Officers have seen an increase of homeless people out on the streets in the below zero temperatures.
KSFY's Tess Hedrick rode along with Officer Chad Campbell Friday evening. He makes it his mission on these cold nights to find those that have nowhere to go -- to help them find food, a place sleep -- and he does it by treating them with respect.
"Just kind of checking for everything. Looks pretty quiet down here tonight," said Officer Campbell.
On nights like Friday evening when the temperature is below zero, Officer Campbell is patrolling the city -- looking for homeless people or transients.
"We'll approach them, identify ourselves, see if we can sense any type of intoxicant or see if they have any type of issue as far as do they have a place to go tonight. Sometimes people are very proud and they do not want our kind of help but we try to look for areas of opportunities. And try to provide them the resources that we have to try to get them safety tonight, especially on a very, very cold night like tonight," said Officer Campbell.
It takes an observant eye to sometimes spot those that are struggling to keep warm.
"I'm looking for common things -- like sometimes you'll see someone huddled in a doorway and you'll go up and talk to them and make sure they're okay and most of the time when they're huddled in a doorway, they're not doing very good," said Officer Campbell.
Just a few minutes after Officer Campbell said that, he spotted a man huddled up in a doorway -- nowhere to go and extremely intoxicated.
"When my buddy gets here ok we're going to take you up to detox tonight. You're going to get some sleep, some rest you're going to get. To get some food ok? You can't be out tonight on a night like tonight. It's going to be 17 or 18 below zero plus wind chill. You're not in any trouble buddy ok," said Officer Campbell to the intoxicated man.
"He'll have 48 hours to detoxify. Have a warm place to stay. He's very hungry, very tired and very appreciative I stopped out tonight," said Officer Campbell.
We went with Officer Campbell back to the Law Enforcement Center. Robert was taken to the Detox Center -- given a clean pair of clothes, water, food and a place to sleep.
He will be released after the 48 hours is up and not in any trouble with the law.
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