As the clock inched closer to midnight, downtown Sioux Falls was certainly the destination for many people wanting to ring in the new year. The presence of Sioux Falls police as people celebrate should be seen as a reminder to celebrate safely.
It is one of the biggest celebrations of the entire year, and it takes place in the final moments of the year itself. Officer Rob Forster has worked with the Sioux Falls Police Department for nearly a decade. Each time he goes out on a patrol on New Year's Eve, there are common themes to the night.
First, people often have too much to drink, which is the case on one call at a downtown Sioux Falls bar around 11 p.m. Tuesday night.
"Somebody had too much to drink, was found in the bathroom probably passed out from intoxication. So, the ambulance came in with the fire department, helped her out. They're going to take her to a local hospital and make sure she doesn't have any type of alcohol poisoning," Forster said.
Forster says this kind of call isn't unusual on nights like New Years Eve, especially from people who are not used to going out.
"Just because of the amount of alcohol that's consumed in a short period of time. Sometimes people don't plan their night as well as they should as far as how much they drink," Forster said.
Another trend Forster notices is people choosing to use an alley rather than a restroom. Getting caught doing that will put you in jail.
Overall, Forster says people in the city are smart about how they ring in the new year. The fewer people he puts in jail, the better he feels about how Sioux Falls handles celebrations.
Forster believes that the lack of serious calls on nights like this are connected in large part to the amount of taxi or safe driver services that have popped up in Sioux Falls over the past few years.