SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As the city of Sioux Falls grows, a lot of people expect the crime rate to grow, too. But that didn’t necessarily happen in 2021; some crimes actually decreased over the last year.
However, other crimes are becoming more common.

City leaders compared data on Monday from January through October of 2019, 2020 and 2021. Homicides, aggravated assaults and domestic assaults were all down in the last year. However, officers responded to more simple assaults.

“2020 was a difficult year on a lot of fronts and that included crime,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said. “Cities across the country saw upticks in crime, saw upticks in homicides. We were no exception here. We also had crime upticks in Sioux Falls in 2020 as well, but fortunately we’re in a different place in 2021.”

“The aggravated assault, the simple assault, especially the domestic pieces of those, to see those go down, I think is an encouraging piece for us, and we can look at okay, what are our partnerships with these community programs,” Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum said.

Stolen cars, however, are another story.

“Stolen vehicles, however, are up substantially, and we won’t hide from that fact at all, that stolen vehicles continue to go up,” Thum said.

They jumped considerably from 2019 to 2020 and then increased again this year. Stolen cars are often tied to other illegal activity.

“A lot of times these stolen vehicles end up being used in other crimes or other things that really have more serious consequences,” Thum said.

Drugs were also a problem in 2021; police confiscated a record amount of fentanyl. Chief Thum says he’s concerned about the number of overdoses in the city and how much police are having to use Narcan. We’ll take a closer look at those numbers and the chief’s concerns coming up at 10 on KELOLAND News.