City of Sioux Falls releases crime statistics for 2022

Sioux Falls saw a slight uptick in both it’s property and violent crime rates in 2022, but city leaders stress it doesn’t match up with the city's growth.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 6:13 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Sioux Falls saw a slight uptick in both it’s property and violent crime rates in 2022, but city leaders stress that the increase doesn’t match up with how fast the city is growing.

Property crimes like larcenies, vandalism and burglaries all rose slightly in 2022. Most violent crime rates also increased, with the exception of rapes which decreased by almost 30 cases compared to 2021. Robberies however increased by more than 50 compared to 2021.

MORE: City leaders discuss 2022 crime statistics

Sioux Falls crime rates 2013-2022.
Sioux Falls crime rates 2013-2022.(City of Sioux Falls)

The city’s property crime rate per 1,000 people has bounced around the last ten years, but currently sits at 38.82; up from 34.76 in 2023. The violent crime rate per 1,000 meanwhile sits at 6.21, up from 4.23 in 2013. Compared to the city’s overall population growth from around 166,000 in 2013 to around 209,000 in 2022, Mayor Paul TenHaken says it’s manageable.

“That per capita number is one that we watch very closely, and specifically the violent crime per capita number on the bottom. We look for dramatic changes there, dramatic swings.” TenHaken said.

Drug seizures in the city also declined compared to 2021; although law enforcement leaders say that’s because 2021 was an outlier. Drug use is still a top concern according to Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead.

“If you have a loved one, someone that may be addicted to these opioids and also synthetics that are opioid-like, fentanyl, you need to get them help,” Milstead said.

Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum said legislation from Pierre this year will also help them; specifically, Senate Bill 146 which will limit parole for violent crime offenders. He said the next step is to try and provide more support for crime prevention and rehabilitation, so fewer people become violent offenders.

“Once the trigger is pulled, it’s too late. Once the aggravated assault has taken place, we’re really good at our job, we’ll find them. The clearance rates are high, but there’s a lot of damage that’s already taken place,” Thum said. “I think what we want to emphasize too on top of that, is if I really dig into those aggravated assault numbers, what are we doing on the back end which is the Truth in Sentencing bill as far as the punishment, but the rehabilitation piece and the prevention piece have to be stressed just as hard. So we want to use our conversations from the pulpit and where we’re at to say this is just as important as locking people up.”

It’s a sentiment that Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Daniel Hagger agreed with.

“So looking at rehabilitation, looking at what programs are working, what programs can we invest in that aren’t working and how do we avoid those. I’m excited, we’ve had legislators that have reached out already said what can we start working on for next year.” Hagger said.

TenHaken said while things are looking manageable for the city and county now, they need to keep improving to stay ahead of any major crime increase.

“There is more crime in our city because our city has grown, but is it manageable, and is it realistic with the city that’s growing at the rate it is? Yeah, and in some ways, it’s actually better than you could hope for at the rate we’re growing. What I think we historically don’t do a real good job about in Sioux Falls is telling the positive stories,” TenHaken said. “We can get complacent and say Sioux Falls is good, things are good. They are good, but if we don’t work on bills and initiatives that will prevent us from turning into, no offense but [Portland, OR] and their crime rate, we’ve got to work on that stuff today.”