Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force seizes a record amount of dangerous drugs this year

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Record amounts of dangerous drugs are off the street thanks to the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force. Now law enforcement is working towards finding treatment options for those who are addicted.

"Methamphetamine continues to be the primary driver of violent and property crime in Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County," Cheif Mike Burns, Sioux Falls Police Department, said.

So far, the task force has seized more than 52 pounds of methamphetamine, 27 times more than last year. And more than eight pounds of heroin.

"I think the people in Minnehaha County and Sioux Falls and South Dakota realize the impact that methamphetamine in particular, opioids are having on lives and families in our area," Sheriff Mike Milstead, said. "It's devastating to talk to someone who's lost their son or daughter to an overdose death."

Since the beginning of the year, officers have responded to 40 overdose calls, 16 of those ended in death.

Now, when police and sheriff deputies get called to an overdose situation they bring along packets with resources to offer help to those addicted.

"We know we're not going to arrest our way out of this problem," Cheif Burns said. "We need additional treatment options, we need support from the state, we need private intensities to stand up and provide again more treatment options because these are serious addictions."

Tara Clayton, a certified addiction counselor for First Step Inc. says this partnership with law enforcement could help a potentially growing problem.

"I think that now the community the world law enforcement is understanding that addiction is an illness now treatments changing and the stigma of addiction is changing, and so I think that's beneficial to all struggling addicts," she said.

"Addiction knows no socioeconomic boundaries, it knows no age boundaries, gender boundaries, addiction, it can come from anywhere," Cheif Burns said. "And from any part of our city and county and that's the reality."

Sioux Falls Police Cheif Mike Burns says more than $161,000 has been seized in drug arrests. That money will be used to support the future of the drug task force.

The Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force is made up of six Sioux Falls Police Officers, two Minnehaha County Sheriff Deputies and two DCI agents.