Turner County Sheriff discusses community statistics

Dawn Rye | Writer

During last week’s Turner County commissioner meeting the Turner County Sheriff’s Office discussed community statistics. 

Tuner County Sheriff Steven Luke said arrest, citations and warnings numbers are higher than normal based on the statistics from 2017 to the current date. He noted fatalities are at zero percent since 2011, injury accidents are down 30 percent and total accidents are down 15 percent. 

“I think it makes a big difference in the increase of traffic stops, in general, the more they see us the more likely they are going to slow down and realize we are there,” commented Luke.

Commissioner Jared Hybertson asked Luke if that means his office is more active in the community? 

Luke noted that yes, his office is more active in the community, but at the same time, Sioux Fall is continuing to grow closer to Parker. 

Luke noted a concern he wanted to address to the board was the rumors in the community. Luke said those rumors are untrue and inaccurate. 

“I only have one request. If anybody ever has a problem or issue just contact me directly. I don’t necessarily think in my opinion this is the place to bring it up. We can solve it one on one and we will go from there,” commented Luke.

Co-Chair Mick Miller asked if Luke has looked into hiring another deputy?

Luke said his thoughts were they currently have a deputy that would benefit in a half and half role in the sheriff’s office. He explained the deputy would be in the office role to help Linda Luke and Tricia Erickson during the day and during the evening would be on duty as a deputy.

Miller asked with deputy Colter Hendrix as the SRO (School Resource Officer) would it benefit the schools by incorporating another SRO?

Luke said the only problem he sees with adding another SRO to the school is the students would have to learn a new person. He said Hendrix already has a great relationship with the school staff members and students. Luke recommended keeping Hendrix as the official SRO.

Commissioner Tony Ciampa asked if Hendrix would take another deputy with him to the school to be introduced? He said that way the students don’t have a good cop/bad cop feeling.

Luke said he is hoping the SRO program provides light to each student when it comes to police officers. He explained he has heard nothing but good things regarding the program.

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