SIOUX, S.D. – With the kind of job our police officers do, it is essential that they can give a focused attention and have enough energy for every case they have to face. But what if our police resources are not enough?

Most states only have one to three police officers per 1,000 civilians, according to SafeWise. They said, “That’s a lot of people for a few sets of eyes and ears.” Because of this, they conducted a study to find out which states have the least amount of police officers per capita, which might contribute to a heavy workload.

The study found that South Dakota has the 6th most “over-worked” police force in the nation. Each officer had to each handle about 15.37 violent crimes in 2014.

Arrests and calls to police are rising across the state and although departments feel the crisis, there’s not much concern at the moment.


Sheriff Mike Milstead

“We know that our calls are increasing, we know that our workload is increasing, we know that we are seeing more and more serious offenses,” said Minnehaha County Sheriff. Mike Milstead. “It increases our workload, it increases some of the dangers our officers face and it decreases public safety.”

But Sheriff Milstead said the state does well in adapting to change.

“As things change and as we see new needs, we bring them and try to get them funded and I think that’s the way it’ll continue,” he said.

Law enforcement agencies across South Dakota are working overtime and with violent and drug crimes on the rise, they strive to be ready for anything.

“Every year we look at our calls for service and a whole number of metrics to try to decide what our manpower should be,” said Sioux Falls Police Chief, Matt Burns.

The increased calls for service in the City of Sioux is not ignored as they take public safety seriously, according to Burns. “They have always been well prepared to put the resources and the money to provide the appropriate resources and personnel and equipment to meet those public safety needs,” he said.

Police also say that good relationships they make with communities play an important part in fighting crime. Civilians do not hesitate reporting suspicious activity.

Photo source: Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls

Photo by Antoinette Alcazar