Latest officer-involved shooting a concern for law enforcement

SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) – Monday was the eighth officer-involved shooting in Sioux Falls since October of last year, with four of those ending in the death of the suspect. Area law enforcement have warned that things are becoming more dangerous for officers and deputies.

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The Sioux Falls Police Department is tracking a rise in violent crimes in the city and the number of violent calls their officers respond to. Police Chief Jon Thum says each incident is different from the last.

“Each incident that we’ve had is uniquely different in how it’s presented and how it’s played out. That’s why as law enforcement, it’s really important that we have a professional police department full of great officers, who make critical decisions and understand situations at the moment.” Thu said.

Thum said often times officers can only react to each situation in front of them with the information they have. That’s as well as often times not being the driving force of any action on the scene, and only reacting to what’s happening.

“Ultimately, law enforcement has to play the hand their dealt sometimes in these circumstances. We’re not the ones determining action. We’re the ones responding to action.” Thu said.

It’s trending that Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said they’re noticing too. He said it’s because many more people that they encounter now have firearms, and many more are carrying for their own protection.

“Both police and deputies responded to more calls where shots were fired. These individuals are more willing to use those guns in the commission of crime.” Milstead said.

Milstead said the challenges that law enforcement face are different from what they were even just a few years ago.

“I think if you ask any police officer, any deputy sheriff, any state trooper how they feel today. If they feel safer as an officer today than they did five years ago. They’re going to say no, no way. It’s a different atmosphere out there.” Milstead said.

Both said they’re always looking at ways they can reduce the number of violent situations their deputies have to be involved in. They said that it’s their job to make sure Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County continues to be a safe place for the public.

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