SFPD: Cameras and neighborhood watch groups helpful for investigations
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Though either homicide investigation in Sioux Falls has yet to result in any suspects or arrests, the Sioux Falls Police Department said there’s always more resources to pour over from the public.
Surveillance cameras have quickly spread beyond just businesses to residential areas in Sioux Falls. That spread is also helping the Sioux Falls Police Department in tracking down crimes that may have happened in local areas.
“Surveillance cameras seem to be everywhere . And I’d say that almost always one of the first things officers look for is surveillance cameras.” SFPD Officer Sam Clemens said.
One of those that lives in Duluth and 21st neighborhood, Mark Fenderson, said he turned over his camera footage of the street to police. He got the cameras after his vehicle had been clipped by another car driving through the street.
“Someone had hit the vehicle. So that’s when we decided to put cameras up and keep an eye on the vehicle. But we had no idea that it would catch a lot more than just the vehicle.” Fenderson said.
Police also said that neighborhood watch groups also provide helpful information when trying to stop crimes. Those are setup by residents in a defined area, and helped trained by the police department on what to look out for and how to report information.
“I won’t say we rely on that. But we certainly welcome that information when it comes in if somebody’s part of a neighborhood watch or crime watch area. That’s what we ask people to do. If they see anything out of the ordinary, call police. Let us handle it, let us deal with it.” Clemens said.
There are over 60 neighborhood watch groups in Sioux Falls. Clemens said often those tips from groups can help solve larger crimes as well.
“Those little calls, they can actually lead to bigger crimes. And we’ve actually seen that before. Those little things that people are committing, those little crimes. Once the detectives get involved and start piecing it together, they realize it could be tied into a larger, more serious crime.” Clemens said.
The Sioux Falls Police Department said there’s only one other homicide investigation still open in the city. That case is currently with the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney.
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