Area crime is out of control

If you listened or read the news out of Rapid City the last few weeks, you would think the northside of town has transformed into the South Side of Chicago. OK, maybe it’s not that bad, but with repeated murders and shootings over the course of just a few days, it is clear that crime seems to be on the rise in Rapid City—or at least in certain parts of the town.
Luckily, here in Custer, we are insulated from the depths of that crime, although this town has most crime a larger city has, only on a smaller scale. Thankfully we don’t have repeated murders, shootings and gang-related issues that Rapid City is dealing with. There is a certain area in Rapid City where the problems seem to be most troublesome, and we know law enforcement officials are working diligently to stem the tide. However, law-abiding residents of that area are going to have to help curb the lawlessness as well. There are plenty of good people who live in the area who do not break the law and want no part of what is going on over there. Together, working with law enforcement, they can tell those who come to the area to cause trouble they won’t be tolerated.
The reasons for the spike in crime are many. Rapid City is growing. With an increase in population comes an increase in the percentage of the population that are criminals. You can see this in any larger city in the United States. It’s not exclusive to Rapid City.
We believe much of this was set in motion years ago during the Dennis Daugaard administration. Daugaard was obsessed with reforming criminal justice in the hopes of saving the state money. In doing so he made presumptive probation much more prevalent and made it even harder to lock up juvenile offenders no matter what they do. Nobody wants to build a new prison, so many offenders get repeated slaps on the wrist or probation when they break the law. Juveniles have little to fear for breaking the law. There seems to be little, if any, consequences to their actions. I know it is frustrating for many in law enforcement.
We aren’t suggesting that every person who breaks a law be locked up for 30 years. But the fact of the matter is there are certain people who need to be behind bars. There are certain people who need to be sent a message that the way they want to do things is not the way a civilized society does things. There are people who, simply put, need to be seperated from society until they can act right.
We would urge lawmakers to revisit some of the laws on the books and to get tougher on what are known in law enforcement as “frequent fliers.” These are people who break law after law until they finally do something that catches everyone’s attention.
The vast majority of the population are law-abiding citizens. We can’t let those who aren’t control what we do, how we do it or make others live in fear.

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