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Homicide Investigation Continues, Neighborhood Watch Meets

March 24, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Homicide Investigation Continues, Neighborhood Watch Meets

The neighborhood watch for those who live near Garfield Elementary has been operating for a year, asking community members to join together to make the lives of everyone just a little bit safer.

"When we can combine the police officers along with the citizens of the neighborhood, it kind of helps combat crime a lot easier that way. It gives us more eyes, more ears," Sioux Falls Police Officer Chris Schoepf said.

Berdyne Bosler has lived in this neighborhood since 1974 and says she has always felt safe because of her neighbors.

"They seem to care. The neighborhood is very friendly, and this thing that happened near our house, that was a shock," Bosler said.

That is why so many are hoping the neighborhood watch can help with change. While many in the room consider what happened to 56-year-old Kari Kirkegaard an isolated incident, they are still offering suggestions about ways to make things safer.

"Then make sure that we follow through with these safety concerns and follow through on some of the stuff that was brought up tonight so they're aware that we're not just going to listen, we're going to listen and follow through," Neighborhood Watch Organizer Jolynn Andersen said.

"This neighborhood has been really great on calling stuff in. It's one of our, to me, it's a low-crime neighborhood," Schoepf said.

One of the big safety concerns in the area is lighting, and that is already being addressed with light polls getting additional lights in the entire neighborhood.

"I feel better that there's an added street light, which we welcome, and I feel our neighborhood has been safe," Bosler said.

It may be small changes, but for them, it makes all the difference.

Neighbors also say they are concerned with how fast people are driving, especially in areas where children are out playing. Petersen says they'll be addressing that problem in the coming weeks.

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