Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead along with Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mike Walker gave a report of what the office is seeing throughout the county. The presentation was given during the Dell Rapids City Council’s regular meeting on Monday, May 21st.
Sheriff Milstead noted that the drug cases in Dell Rapids stayed nearly the same from 2016 to 2017. Dell Rapids had 29 cases in 2016 and 30 in 2017. However, Sheriff Milstead said the meth arrests and overdose deaths in the county have doubled. There were 11 overdose deaths in Minnehaha County in 2016 and 21 in 2017.
“We didn’t use to see meth overdoses, but here’s what’s happening. Our percentage of purity and strength of our meth coming into our community is nearly 100%,” said Milstead. He also noted that the meth epidemic is something the sheriff’s office struggles to handle. Milstead said that over half of the violent crimes and burglaries in the county are related to meth use.
Meth isn’t the only the drug being seen in the county. Milstead noted that seven of the overdose deaths in 2017 was related to heroin.
“I don’t think I’ve ever said the word heroin in Dell Rapids. I never thought that I would, but heroin is in our communities now,” Milstead added.
Despite the shocking statistics given by Sheriff Milstead, he praised the council and the community of Dell Rapids.
“I have great respect for what you do and the challenges you face. It’s really nice, actually, to come up and listen to a setback issue being a major thing that you’re handling, and you’re not dealing with a crisis that we’re seeing in other communities. I think there’s a reason why people live in Dell Rapids. They want to keep it like Dell Rapids and will fight to keep it that way,” Milstead commented.
Officer Walker provided a few comments as well. He noted that while he doesn’t know everything that goes on in the school, he does hear a lot. Walker said he that he does hear a lot of the trends and said that it goes up and down every year.
“This year has been a really, really good year at Dell Rapids I think. I’m not here to tell you that no kids are using marijuana or drinking and stuff, but I just did not hear the trend that I have in the last three or four years,” Walker said.
Walker also noted that while he didn’t hear some of the same trends in the school when it came to marijuana or drinking, he did mention that vaping is now becoming more of an issue.
Sheriff Milstead and Officer Walker also touched on other drug related items, apps and technology that the office is using or hopes to use, and social media.
The entire nearly hour-long report can be viewed in the video.