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Sioux Falls Police Stepping Up Downtown Safety

February 14, 2014, 6:16 PM by Leland Steva

Sioux Falls Police Stepping Up Downtown Safety

Businesses and apartments continue to pop up downtown, as the heart of the city grows. The Sioux Falls Police Department wants to make sure there isn't a growth in crime, too.

More people than ever are shopping, living and working downtown.

But a survey found many of them don't feel safe. So, the Sioux Falls Police Department is putting more emphasis on safety with officers whose primary focus is downtown.

Downtown Sioux Fall is thriving. And while there hasn't been an increase in downtown crime, Sioux Falls Police are putting more effort into keeping the surging district safe.

"As it grows we want to make sure that we're ahead of any problems that potentially could come instead of chasing those problems later on down the road," Captain Rich Miller said.

Officers already assigned to the northeast quadrant will put more focus on downtown. Three officers will patrol during the afternoon shift, and two each during the overnight and morning shifts.

"We want to make sure there is a recognizable face for the people that visit the downtown area and work in the downtown area that they know those officers," Miller said.

Bruce Harlin is a Sioux Falls native. He spends a lot of time downtown since retiring and says he's never felt threatened. But he is grateful for the added security.

" I think if we can get more policemen in presence walking up and down the town and supporting our safety that would be even better," Sioux Falls Resident Bruce Harlin said.

After all, he says, you have to keep crime numbers down if you want the growth here to keep going up.

"What makes it a fun town and a vibrant town is that it's a good place to live and to raise a family and I think the important thing about raising a family is safety," Harlin said.

The officers have already begun extra patrolling during the afternoon shift. Police say the feedback from their presence has been positive.

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