RCPD says guns in the hands of younger offenders contributing to rise in North side violence
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Several shootings have occurred recently on Rapid City’s north side. The Rapid City Police Department is faced with helping solve the rise in crime despite current calls from the community for peace.
Over the past month, police have responded to at least three reports of shootings in the area of North Maple Avenue and Surfwood Drive. Police say the crimes are not connected.
According to RCPD, a rising problem in the area is guns in the hands of younger offenders. One possible reason? Gun owners not locking up their guns. And if they’re stolen – they’re hard to track.
“The guns that we’ve been able to recover don’t have a link specifically to stolen guns, but the reality is a lot of our guns that are stolen victims can’t provide serial numbers, so they can’t be entered into the system, so there’s no way to tell, you know, where these guns came from,” says RCPD Captain James Johns.
Johns also says that gang activity plays a role in the rise in crime.
Furthermore, the police department’s use of targeted warrants is making a difference – but they still need the public to alert police about problems.
Captain Johns says, “We’re arresting a lot of people. We’re clearing out a lot of warrants. We’re finding more drugs. We’re finding more guns off of people out there. But you know, we can’t be in every house all the time knowing what’s happening behind closed doors and that’s unfortunately where most this violence is occurring.”
Johns says the police department will continue providing patrols and will work with its community partners in the mission to cut down on the violence.