Four murders in thirty days makes Rapid City uneasy
Four murders in thirty days has Rapid City citizens are concerned about their safety.
Mayor Steve Allender says, "That's a great question. that's the most logical question anybody could ask if we should be or are we at a greater threat based on these things."
Murders in 2017 have already topped the total from 2016 and we are only 24 days in.
Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris says, "It is our fourth homicide in the last 30 days and of course that is extremely alarming for our community and its taxing for a department."
The four incidents mentioned include the December 27th murder at the Stardust Motel, the new years day murder off of Adam street, the January 17th murder at the Loaf and Jug and last night's murder at the Dakota Rose Inn.
2015 was a record breaking year for violent crimes and the numbers have only increased
Allender says, "These definitely shake the confidence of the community and that's normal so let's just hope this is a bad here and this is the last one of 2017."
But Chief Jegeris says a majority of the incidents were targeted to a specific victim.
Jegeris says, "Three out of the four homicides we're speaking of, the persons that were victims were acquaintances of the persons that were the suspects and that high-risk behavior led to the event."
But there is one common denominator that links all four murders ... Methamphetamine
Jegeris says, "I think that it is critical for everybody from the criminal justice system to come to the table especially our lawmakers in Pierre during the session to prioritize how we are going to respond to what the governor has recently called an epidemic of as methamphetamine in South Dakota."
But over all ... city leaders feel that most citizens are safe.
Allender says, "The typical kind of violence that we see between groups and enemies is something that really doesn't bleed over into being a real public threat as far as the general public goes."
Jegeris says, "For those people that are in Rapid City that are not engaging and high risk behaviors such as illegal drug use or other things involving weapons and such, I would say that Rapid City is certainly a safe place."