SPEARFISH | Representatives from various local county and city law enforcement agencies joined representatives from the state Division of Criminal Investigation Monday at Spearfish City Hall to celebrate the start of a project that will strengthen the coordinated drug enforcement effort in the Northern Hills.
A 10-year lease, approved Oct. 19 by the Spearfish City Council, commenced on Nov. 1 and allows for approximately 1,050 square-feet of the basement of Spearfish City Hall to be converted into a multi-agency office space to be used by DCI drug agents and investigators from other law enforcement agencies.
“Once completed, the mission for this working group of drug investigators is to investigate crimes relating to the use, sale, distribution, and/or manufacture of illegal drugs, specifically methamphetamine,” said Steve Ardis, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation Supervisory Special Agent. “The group will target their joint investigations toward the apprehension of drug violators, prioritizing their primary focus on large-scale drug traffickers or those who possess or distribute highly dangerous controlled substances such as methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl.”
The remodel of the basement space will be funded using $105,000 of state drug seizure funds awarded to the city of Spearfish by the South Dakota Attorney General.
Ardis explained that the coordinated drug enforcement effort is intended to maximize the group’s law enforcement resources and to facilitate the flow of drug-related intelligence information between the law enforcement agencies.
“The goal is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle drug trafficking organizations within the Western region of South Dakota (including Butte, Harding, Lawrence, Meade and Perkins counties), specifically the Northern Hills,” he said. “The Northern Hills partners recognize a large majority of all crimes our agencies are involved in and investigate have a direct nexus to controlled substances use and abuse. Having recognized this connection, the Northern Hills partners have committed resources to help combat the drug problem that not only plagues our area, but our state.”
Police chiefs and/or representatives from Belle Fourche, Deadwood, Lead, Faith, Spearfish, Sturgis and Whitewood, as well as sheriffs and/or representatives from Butte, Lawrence, Meade and Perkins counties, attended a check presentation during the Spearfish City Council meeting Monday.
“This project is the culmination of the hard work of agencies dedicated to working together to stop the illegal sale and use of drugs that pose an unacceptable risk to public health and safety,” Spearfish Police Chief Curt Jacobs said. “We are pleased to house this office space in Spearfish and look forward to the continued partnership we have enjoyed over the years with DCI and our local law enforcement allies in the Northern Hills.”
The representatives present voiced their recognition of the impact the shared office space will have.
“Ultimately, we have listened to the concerns from the public and recognize this partnership will tremendously benefit the communities in the Northern Hills and make South Dakota a safer place to live,” Ardis said.
Contact Nathan Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.