Possibility of new police precinct met with criticism

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Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 6:02 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Earlier this year, the Rapid City Police Department asked the City Council for $1.8 million to build a second precinct on the west side of town.

But there are some in the community who are opposed to this.

The Rapid City Police Department has been looking to expand because of the growing population for the past few years. In May, they asked the City Council for funds to build a second precinct to improve citywide response times.

Patrol Captain John Olson with the RCPD said that they’re seeing the impacts of a growing community, with west Rapid growing the fastest.

“That’s where we’re getting all of our major housing and apartments and things like that, that are being built in the south and west of town, and we have decentralized a little bit in some of our other police-related services,” Olson said.

However, some in the community are uncomfortable with increased police presence in west Rapid. A campaign called ‘No 2nd precinct’ has taken off on social media to prevent the expansion.

Their Facebook page states that adding another precinct wouldn’t improve the quality of life in the area and that it would be a great cost for the public.

But Captain Olson said that it will be built with funds the city already has, and no new officers will need to be hired.

“Just because the sub-station exists, we’re not going to be putting more officers in there,” Olson said. “We’re just going to be putting the current officers we have.”

The creation of the precinct on the corner of Sheridan Lake Road and Catron Boulevard is still being discussed in the City Council.

The No 2nd Precinct group says to us in a statement; “Our public money and our efforts need to be invested in creating and sustaining resources and social support systems that make our community stronger and safer. Housing, health care, education, and living wages are examples of socially impactful initiatives that lead to a safer and more healthy community. More funding for the police will not solve the systemic issues, such as poverty and racism, from which crime grows.”

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