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Patrolling JazzFest

July 16, 2010, 9:16 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Patrolling JazzFest
SIOUX FALLS, SD - It's one of the biggest events in Sioux Falls and it takes a large group of police officers to control the crowds. While concert-goers are listening to music at JazzFest this weekend dozens of police officers are watching them to make sure everyone stays safe.

It's expected that there are 20 to 30 thousand people at JazzFest every night. With that many people, police say they have plenty of work and planning to do to make sure the event runs safe and smooth.

"We started this months and months ago in the planning stage. We work with the JazzFest committee to work our end of this event, and as you can see this is a huge event," Lt. Jerome Miller of the Sioux Falls Police Department said.

Nearly four dozen officers are patrolling Yankton Trail Park during the JazzFest weekend. Several of the officers are stationed at the two entrances to help with all of the traffic coming in and out of the festival. But, there are also several officers patrolling the beer tents to make sure trouble doesn't start there. 

"We got officers where we need them to handle those issues. We stay on top of those things right up front that way you don't have to worry about things getting out of hand," Lt. Miller said. 

Lt. Miller says officers don't have any set patterns they patrol at JazzFest. They mostly wander the grounds watching for anything out of the ordinary. But, they do try to make sure as many people as possible see them patrolling.

"We want to make sure that everybody sees us to know that they need to behave themselves. We want everybody to have a good time, but we don't want anything getting out of control either, so we make sure that everybody knows there's quite a few of us here," Lt. Miller said.

That way all of the people who show up at JazzFest can just kick back and enjoy the show.

Police say they also have officers in the nearby neighborhoods around Yankton Trail Park, so when people leave JazzFest they don't cause problems elsewhere.

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