Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Gives County Report to Dell Rapids Council

MCSOLogoMinnehaha 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.

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Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office Makes Request to Dell Rapids City Council

Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Deputy and School Resource Officer Mike Walker made several requests to the Dell Rapids City Council on Monday, February 1st, during the council’s regular meeting.  The requests made were to make the school zones safer in town.

Deputy Walker presented the council with four requests.  The first request was for stop signs to be placed on State Ave at the intersection of 9th St.

“I feel like at 9th and State Ave, that’s the front door of St Mary High School, and there’s no traffic control there.  Kids are walking across that intersection without anyone stopping.  Also you have a lot of young drivers there who don’t know the right-of-way law that we know.  I see a lot of confusion at that intersection, and with it being in front of the school, I would sure like to see something changed there to make it more safe.”

MCSORequestToCouncilAnother concern for Deputy Walker was placing No U-Turn signs on 13th St. from Garfield Ave to the football field, and along Garfield Ave from 13th St to 15th St along with having the city’s U-Turn ordinance clarified.

Walker said, “13th between Garfield all the way to the football field, I’d like to see that street and Garfield from 13th to 15th have no U Turns.  In the mornings people are making U Turns on those streets.  Kids are seeing parking spots on the other side, and they just whip right around.  Even parents dropping off their kids are making U Turns right in front of the school during school traffic.  I’d like to make it a no U-Turn law in that area.”

Current city ordinance about U Turns says:
Sec. 20-180. Limitations on turning around.
The driver of any vehicle shall not turn such vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any one-way street, or upon any bridge or viaduct, or on any street in a business or commercial area, or at any intersection controlled by traffic-control signals, and shall not upon any other street so turn a vehicle except at an intersection and unless such movement can be made in safety and without interfering with other traffic.

Deputy Walker also asked the council about placing a “No Parking from Here to Corner” sign on 13th and Harrison and also to have yellow paint put on the curb in front of the fire hydrant on Garfield Ave near Dell Rapids High School.

No action was taken by the council for the placing of the stop sign and the U-Turn ordinance because such changes can only be made when they are official agenda items.

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