RAPID CITY, S.D. – A crime report by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office stated that in 2022, 126 Rapid City police officers were assaulted. That’s about one every three days and more than double the 56 reported assault reports on Sioux Falls police in the same year.
”I think that what happened this weekend where a police officer was assaulted at the Corner Rescue Mission, highlights a larger issue in our community,” said Olivia Siglin, a deputy state’s attorney and liaison for law enforcement in Pennington County. “The South Dakota attorney general’s office releases crime statistics each year, which shows that police in Rapid City and in Pennington County are assaulted at a much higher rate than in any other jurisdiction in South Dakota.”
According to the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office there were more assaults against law enforcement in Rapid City in 2022 than anywhere else in the state, and by a wide margin. Assaults that year in the city surpassed Sioux Falls. Rapid City had 126 assaults compared to 56 in Sioux Falls, more than double.
Although the State Attorney’s Office isn’t sure why numbers here are surpassing the larger Sioux Falls area they do see a pattern among offenders.
Siglin says, “I do feel like the majority of the cases that I prosecute involving assaults on law enforcement involve intoxication of some level. Whether that be alcohol, some other substance or a combination in which people are acting in ways that they wouldn’t otherwise act.”
People with mental health issues also make up a portion of the assaults. The State’s Attorney’s Office hopes to find treatment for those in need while seeking stiff penalties for repeat violent offenders.
The crime report is compiled by the Attorney General’s Criminal Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) and is the most accurate and comprehensive compilation of South Dakota criminal statistics as it reflects the actual arrest and reporting information by South Dakota law enforcement. Criminal statistics help identify trends in criminal activity that assists in crime prevention and enforcement efforts across South Dakota.
Siglin says that being assaulted is not part of a police officer’s job description and that she hopes that more police interactions in the community can be resolved peacefully.