Sioux Falls sees decrease in violent crimes, increase in drug overdoses in 2021

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 3:36 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken and Police Chief Jon Thum presented the city’s crime statistics for 2021 on Monday.

The briefing at City Hall is meant to inform the public about the trends in crime over the past year. Mayor TenHaken began the briefing noting what a difficult year 2020 was, not just for crime rates in Sioux Falls, but nationwide.

“Cities across the country saw upticks in crime, upticks in homicides. We were no exception here. We also had crime upticks in Sioux Falls in 2020,” said TenHaken.

Sioux Falls experienced an increase in violent crimes, including homicides in 2020. However, violent crime decreased in Sioux Falls in 2021. Crimes including domestic assault, aggravated assault, homicides, and robberies all decreased in 2021.

Police investigated 11 homicides in 2020 an increase of five from 2019. There were only three homicides in Sioux Falls in 2021 as of Nov. 29. Aggravated assaults increased by more than 150 in 2020 and fell by 50 in 2021. There were 113 robberies in 2020, an increase of nearly 40 from 2019. Police say there were just under 100 robberies in 2021.

Burglaries, stolen vehicles, and larcenies saw an increase in 2021 from 2020. Burglaries increased by more than 80 from 2020 to 719. The number of stolen vehicles in the city saw a significant increase from 2019 to 2020, from 599 to 906. The number continued to increase in 2021 but at a slower pace, reaching 1,096. Larcenies also increased with a reported 4,618 larcenies in 2021, up nearly 150 from 2020.

Chief Thum specifically highlighted one area that did not see improvement from 2020, drug overdoses. Since its implementation, the Sioux Falls Drug Task Force has been responsible for an increase in drug seizures, with record-breaking recoveries of fentanyl. The task force seized more than 2,000 grams of fentanyl in 2021, an increase of more than 1,700 grams in 2020.

“We are on pace for record overdose deaths. I think this is where I implore young people who may be listening to this and people in general, if you’re thinking about using these types of narcotics I want you to think and visualize your parents finding out that maybe you’ve overdosed and passed away,” said Thum.

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