Letter to the Editor

A Safe Dakota Days

To the editor:

This week is the week of Dakota Days (D-Days).  This long held traditional celebration includes the D-Days Parade, USD's Homecoming Game and a variety of celebrations throughout the community. We all look forward to this exciting time of year.  At the Police Department, we are working with our Public Safety Partners to make this a safe celebration for everyone.

Past D-Days celebrations have unfortunately included assaults, sexual assaults, alcohol related medical emergencies and other injuries. Our goal this year is to reduce and if possible eliminate these types of occurrences.  Further, if one of these tragic events does occur, we will provide the fastest most effective response possible.

Some of the efforts we are undertaking include:

  • Significantly increased patrols – This year there will be almost 50 percent more officers patrolling during high celebration areas in cars, on bikes, and on foot. This will include four officers from Yankton and Clay County Deputies who will be assisting VPD.
  • Additional surveillance equipment will allow for better support for patrol officers.
  • Special investigative teams made up of Detectives and DCI Investigators will provide quick response to major crimes and proactive enforcement regarding those furnishing alcohol to minors.
  • Additional real-time communication with the public through Facebook and Twitter updates.
  • The Highway Patrol will be conducting proactive DUI patrols in Vermillion and Clay County.
  • Volunteer Fire and EMS personnel will man equipment to provide quick response to medical and fire emergencies.
  • Sanford Hospital and USD Volunteers will provide a safe area for intoxicated persons.

How can you be part of the solution?

  • Call immediately if you see something that is unsafe or suspicious.
  • Don't drink if you are under 21.
  • Do not furnish alcohol to underage participants.
  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Be a good neighbor: be courteous to others, throw litter in garbage containers, and do not urinate in public.

Working together we can make this a safe and fun D-Days for everyone.

Matthew Betzen,

Chief of Police


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