Police plan an increased presence in downtown Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls Police have announced a new plan to take on a growing downtown. New business, more nightlife and a growing population calls for an increased presence in downtown -- consistently.
There's no question downtown is a booming area. With that comes the need for increased safety and awareness. Officer John Matthews is one of downtown's newest officer liaisons and he's looking forward to spending a lot more time in the area.
"We know what the problems are and we know we need to increase our patrols in certain areas on specific types of crime so it makes us responsible for that," Officer John Matthews said.
The idea is also sitting well with downtown business owners.
"It's more than just our community's safety it's about getting to know our police officers and getting a respect for all they do," Mrs. Murphy's Irish Gifts owner Dick Murphy said. "There's entertainment, people living downtown. A lot more people living in lofts, apartments available and that increases the awareness of our public safety."
Murphy says just having that consistency will make a big difference.
"Often times crime is deterred just with a presence of an officer so that speaks volumes for what they're doing. I'm thankful for the opportunity to get to know them and that they'll be down here," Murphy said.
During each officer shift, there will be a liaison that focuses his or her efforts on the downtown area. They will be doing so both on foot and bike patrols in addition to their squad cars.
Officers say this isn't about recognizing any sort of problem in downtown or because of any increase in crime. This is a proactive move to keep it the safe environment it already is. That way, officers can stay on top of potential problems.