Drug Crimes Increase, Violent Crimes Decrease In South Dakota Last Year

Drug epidemic doubling down in South Dakota

Drug epidemic doubling down in South Dakota

Lt. John Olson says, "We've seen some of the largest increases in meth over my entire career, being that 2015 was a record year and we just had tons of meth arrests and confiscations".

South Dakota remains the only state to calculate "APR" differently than TILA.

According to the recent crime report, the state saw 21 murders last year compared to 27 the year before. However, the Westerhuis tragedy alone added five additional murder cases to the list in 2015.

The number of certified law enforcement officers increased previous year, climbing from 1,816 to an all-time high of 1,984, which Jackley said also contributed to the increase in arrests.

Jackley says a lot of the meth that enters South Dakota comes from countries south of the U-S border.

Jackley said, "It's a national epidemic".

Mitchell police made 1,162 arrests in 2016, including 182 arrests for drug and narcotic violations and another 14 arrests for drug equipment violations, according to the report. Jackley says a majority of those crimes were meth-based.

Jackley said, "I knew it was going to be an increase, but to increase by 12.5 percent is a very significant number".

He says meth is why we're seeing high numbers in other areas.

"It drives crime, such as burglary, some of the property crimes".

Past year there were more than 7,600 drug arrests in South Dakota, a 12.5 percent increase.

Those property crimes cost more than $30 million past year.

Jackley tells KELO.COM that the state is trying to stay ahead of the epidemic with the "No Meth Ever" campaign in the schools and with the Law Enforcement Task force that tries to stop meth from coming into South Dakota. DUI arrests were up from that time. One-hundred-sixty-eight of them came just a year ago.

Criminal statistics help identify trends in criminal activity that assists in crime prevention and enforcement efforts across South Dakota.