According to the National Incident-Based Reporting System, which monitors crime, felonies have risen in Minnehaha County from 2009 to 2012. Aggravated assaults have more than doubled, and robberies have also more than doubled.
Sioux Falls Mayoral Candidate Greg Jamison said to lower crime in Minnehaha County, we have to focus on Sioux Falls.
"We can't turn on one of your TV stations, or open up the newspaper, without seeing a news headline that talks about some of these offenses. I think, to a lot of us, it concerns us and it should. It concerns me and I want to address it," Jamison said.
On Tuesday, Jamison outlined how he would combat these numbers if elected mayor. He said he wants to give the Police Department more resources, including more patrol officers and a special crime unit that goes after the worst offenses.
"You just can't bury your head in the sand, or pretend to talk about these issues that are important. You need to do something," Jamison said.
Jamison did not say how many officers he would add. As for paying for them, he did mention that might require shifting things around in the City's budget.
Mayor Mike Huether said he has been focused on making Sioux Falls safe, and he would continue that if re-elected.
"People choose to live in this town, they choose to play in this town, they choose to shop in this town, because we are such a safe city. Again, we're not going to lose sight of that," Huether said.
Huether said he works closely with the Police Department to make sure those who do commit the crime will serve the time.
"There has never been an instance that I've been mayor where police have wanted to add officers and I have not said, 'Let's go,'" Huether said.
Police Chief Doug Barthel said he has felt that support. In an email to KELOLAND News, he said: "The current Mayor and City Council, as well as the previous Mayor and Councils, have been very supportive of law enforcement. In the past four years, our department has added 15 new police officers, which includes 4 new officers this year. I feel we have done a good job of systematically growing our department as the city population grows. We were adding officers even when others around the country were laying them off."