RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) – In the last few months, Rapid City has seen an uptick in violent crime, leading to city officials asking the community to “step up” and help make change happen.
Despite neighborhood watches and police on duty in the northern Rapid City area 24/7, community members say that even letting children outside can be dangerous.
“Caretakers of these children have to make sure that they’re taking these steps to watch out for them and protect these children. Show them the good things, don’t let them run around out there, and… it’s just too risky,” said one mother who asked not to be identified.
With pressure from the community to do something about violent crime, Mayor Steve Allender said there is only so much the city can do without violating people’s rights.
“The more we do in terms of police action, proactivity, more resources, at some point it’s going to become oppressive and people aren’t going to be able to move around there without a cop right next to them or questioning them and that’s not what people want,” said Allender.
He added that they are going to continue to put resources in the area, even after the officer-involved shooting that occurred last week.
“You know, we’re trying, we’re putting more resources into public safety up there. We just have one small request, just don’t try to murder us while we are doing it,” said Allender. “This is just unbelievable, the lack of communication, and the lack of cooperation, and the lack of standards, that exists at these complexes. We want to work with people to get this done, but we’re facing some regulation.”
Allender agreed that it isn’t only adults who are suffering, but that children will also end up paying for the rise in crime.
“Think about the children who don’t have a choice whether or not they live there. Whether or not they are going to be hurt walking in and out of the house or playing on the playground,” said Allender. “We should be there for the children.”
Sunday morning, Rapid City Police Chief Don Hedrick said he is willing to connect with members of the community to solve the issue of violence.
“I’ll be here all week. For those that want to reach out and connect up and come together and have a talk, a talk about real solutions and how we can move forward to end the violence up here in this neighborhood,” said Hedrick.
Allender also had some advice.
“Stop keeping such a low standard for your own families, friends, and neighborhoods, start expecting more,” said Allender. “Because some idiot carrying around a pistol trying to settle a score can ruin it for everybody.”
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