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SFPD Patrolling Local Parks

April 22, 2014, 8:15 AM by Brittany Larson

SFPD Patrolling Local Parks

Law enforcement are making their presence known around Sioux Falls' parks now that it's getting nicer out. While this is something they make sure to do all year round, they say it makes it easier to patrol the parks on their motorcycle verses their car.

"Our main job is visitor safety for the park system. After that it's protection of property or assets protection for the city itself," Sioux Falls Police Officer, Chad Gillen said.

Chad Gillen is one of four police officers who are assigned to the parks unit. He starts his shift at 1 p.m. and will make his way patrolling the downtown area along with the Big Sioux River.

"It's proactive policing, just having our presence known kind of deters crime in itself," Gillen said.

Gillen says while visiting the parks he makes sure people are following all of the city ordinances.

"Most of that is an alcohol free park so I'll look for people that are drinking alcohol whether it be malt beverages, wine or liquor, and enforce those laws," Gillen said.

Parents say they appreciate the presence of police officers at all the local parks.

"It's necessary because it's safe for the kids. It's good for the kids. And when it gets late at night and the kids are around so they can be able to protect the kids." Youtee Weh said.

And now that it's warming up, more people will be outside.

"There's a lot more activity in the parks once the weather gets nice and the use of the motorcycle is a great tool for us because we are able traverse the trails with ease without causing any congestion with people that are using the trails and we are able to actually drive across the park," Gillen said.

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