FBI: South Dakota violent crime rate drops

Published: Oct. 4, 2019 at 10:33 AM MDT
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For the first time in five years, South Dakota’s violent crime numbers have declined, according to the FBI’s just-released


The number of violent crimes dropped 4.9 percent from 2017. The estimated rate of violent crime in South Dakota was 404.7 per 100,000 inhabitants.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney for South Dakota, the biggest drop was in murders and non-negligent homicides, which declined by 56 percent.

The estimated number of violent crimes in the United States as a whole decreased 3.3 percent from the 2017 number. The national violent crime rate fell 3.9 percent when compared with the 2017 rate. This was the second consecutive year that violent crime has decreased nationwide.

However, Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said the FBI report doesn't actually include all of South Dakota, because it neglects crimes on the reservations. Tribal crimes are counted separately from federal data the report collects.

However, Thom said he believes the report is true and says the county has made strong efforts that has limited their violent crime numbers.

"We've partnered with federal agencies and project safe neighborhoods. We recently did that large sweep about a week ago and took a number of violent people off our streets. Again, having vigorous enforcement particularly when it comes to violent crime, it does make a difference," Thom said.

However, Thom said drug-related crimes are still a problem in the state as they continue to battle meth and opioid numbers.