Last month when the President threatened to “send in the Feds!” to address rising crime in Chicago (but of course didn’t follow up with any concrete policy proposal for a complicated problem), I suggested he might have more cause for threatening federal intervention in Rapid City, where the murder rate is even higher than in Chicago.
Apparently Kristi Noem reads Dakota Free Press. Pointing to rising crime rates in Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and statewide, our Congresswoman calls on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to send in the Feds or something to South Dakota:
…As you begin your work, I write today to make you aware of an urgent matter in my state.
In his inaugural address, President Trump lamented the decaying state of public safety in our country, a theme he highlighted throughout his campaign. However, while the President has focused primarily on crime in America’s large cities, it is critical that we address issues in rural areas, as well. South Dakota’s small towns, for example, have traditionally been safe places in which to live and raise a family, but in recent years, our communities have been increasingly threatened by a precipitous rise in violent crime [Rep. Kristi Noem, letter to U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, 2017.02.21].
Funny that the Trump Administration, which has vowed to work for “the forgotten men and women of our country,” would need a reminder not to forget about helping rural America deal with crime.
Rep. Noem points to FBI stats showing a 118% increase in the rate of violent crime from 2005 to 2015. Hewing to the argument offered by the Governor and others, Rep. Noem says that opioid and meth use and gangs are driving this increase in violent crime. She doesn’t mention refugees or immigrants as causes of violence in South Dakota; her S.O.S. to A.G. Sessions only mentions “Mexican drug cartels” as the source of our violence-driving meth.
Given law enforcement’s concerns, one might think that a logical response would be to make it harder for drug dealers and users to get firearms. But like her President, Rep. Noem proposes not even a sketch of a solution:
I have met with numerous state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers during my tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives. I fully support their work on the front lines. To supplement their work, I would like to meet with you as you evaluate the nation’s law enforcement needs so we can discuss the situation in South Dakota and other rural states. Additionally, I urge you to redouble your agency’s efforts to combat drug trafficking, gang proliferation, as well as the violent crime that all too often follows [Noem to Sessions, 2017.02.21].
Let’s talk, and do more of whatever you’re doing—no specifics, just a conservative Republican asking the federal government to expand its power and activity in South Dakota.
I kind of miss the days when Republicans were afraid of the federal government. Oh well—send in the Feds!