Increased call volume and police presence in Pettigrew Heights - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Increased call volume and police presence in Pettigrew Heights

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As we first reported last year, programs like 'Walk With A Cop' aim to increase safety in central Sioux Falls. But crime is still on the rise.

Case reports have risen from 1,082 in 2009 to 1,541 in 2013 in Pettigrew Heights alone. And for this year already, there are 508 cases.

But these numbers actually may not reflect a rise in crime. 

Sioux Falls Police Officer Ben Statema keeps a watchful eye on Pettigrew Heights. Although case reports have increased over the past few years, that doesn't necessarily mean crime is on the rise in this area.
"People are much more willing to open up to you and let you know their concerns even if it's not necessarily for the specific call that we got called on to. It might deal with that issue but they'll bring up some other concerns or other things they've been seeing. That's always good because that gives us an idea of what to look our for," said Officer Statema.

For neighbors like Lorna Gallanter, increasing police presence in Pettigrew Heights makes her feel safe in her own  backyard.
"I feel the police know me now. They see me out mowing my law. They stop every so often. Last summer there was a young man who was running a bit of a con -- CcaCanu give me money for the Red Cross' -- and the police knew who he was and they came right over and stopped -- 'You need to go on home now young man' -- and I said to him don't you try that again here in this neighborhood," said Gallanter.

She says the neighborhood is gradually improving -- all thanks to the eyes and ears of concerned neighbors working together with law enforcement.

And for businesses in the area, employees say the reputation of Pettigrew Heights may take some time to change.
"It would be nice to have it fixed up and I know they're slowly doing that but I think it's going to take a while just because everybody's used to this area and as long as some of the places are here where they can keep going, I think its going to stay the same," said Kasey Kroger, assistant manager at Munchies.

So don't be surprised if you see more police officers out patrolling in Pettigrew Heights.
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