Rapid City Mayor, apartment owners talk safety, improvements

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North Maple Avenue and Surfwood Drive Shooting

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender meeting Monday with representatives of one of the so-called “Big Three” apartment complexes on the city’s northside. The Maplewood Townhomes, Knollwood Townhouses, and Sage Place (informally known as Surfwood because of the street it’s on) account for a disproportionate number of crimes in Rapid City.

To combat crime in the area, Rapid City Police have established a substation and a 24-7 presence in the area. They’ve also hired a community engagement specialist who works out of the substation with residents of the community.

Enlisting the owners

Allender and Police Chief Don Hedrick say the city has done all it can to improve things in the area, and now it’s time for the complex owners to step up.

Monday’s meeting with owners and property managers for Sage Place was a first step in that direction. Allender says the representatives outlined some of the steps they’re taking. “There have been some improvements up at Sage Place,” he said. “You know, it’s difficult when you’re spending tens of thousands of dollars replacing doors and then in a week or two, the doors are broken again.”

“And they have plans to put a lot of more money into that complex to make it safer, including lights and cameras and better doors and locks and a better fence around the outside, more controlled access and so on.”

“They’re evicting tenants who cannot comply with their basic rules and who are inviting crime into the area,” Allender added. “So there’s a number of eviction processes in place right now. And, you know, we’re working together with them.”

Ready for further steps

Still, Allender says that while he’s hopeful that the owners will take the steps necessary, the city is prepared to take legal action if required. If improvements aren’t made and if we can’t get some type of control of the disorder in this neighborhood, we’re going to have to start looking for additional legal options.

“I think they understand that. And they’re very willing, apparently willing to work with our employees, our police department and code enforcement to make that a great place to live up there.”

What’s next?

At this point, there have been no further meetings scheduled between the Mayor’s Office and representatives of the apartment complexes.

Categories: Crime, Local News