South Dakota VA tickets drop, focus on de-escalation

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Police say they have issued fewer tickets this year than last at Veterans Affairs facilities in western South Dakota.

Six tickets have been issued so far this year at the Fort Meade and Hot Springs VA campuses combined. Veteran Affairs police issued 38 in 2018 at the same campuses.

Capt. Kendra Knight with Black Hills Health Care System VA police says most of the citations have been for public intoxication, alcohol possession and disorderly conduct. It is illegal to be drunk or high at VA facilities.

She noted that the objective of the Veterans Affairs police is de-escalation and providing care and service for veterans, not posting tickets.

Citations are issued to people who show up intoxicated multiple times, refuse treatment or threaten others.

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