Sioux Falls may charge folks more to hold big events in the city. Police are complaining that more events in the parks and on the streets are taking them away from their duties:
More special events mean more need for police officers to work at those events. That takes officers away from duties like traffic enforcement.
“While they’re working those special events, they’re not working their primary mission,” Capt. Jeff Garden of the Sioux Falls Police said at the City Council’s informational meeting Monday afternoon.
The city wants event planners to cover the costs associated with bringing in officers [Carter Woodiel, “Sioux Falls Considering Hiking Event Permit Fees,” KELO Radio, 2019.11.18].
Wait a minute: directing traffic, keeping people and property safe where crowds have gathered—that is the PD’s primary mission, isn’t it?
I don’t seem to recall city or state leaders complaining about the cost of assigning police to keep protestors away from Donald Trump when Kristi Noem brought Il Duce to Sioux Falls for a few hundred donors at an exclusive campaign fundraising event. But the city wants to take more money from organizers of events that probably pay for themselves in terms of public costs with the sales tax dollars spent by tens of thousands of hungry, thirsty, souverniry visitors? Give us a break, Sioux Falls—those special events do you a favor.
The state of South Dakota actually pays developers and counties to place enormous permanent piles of poop in their backyards. Sioux Falls, instead of raising special event fees, perhaps you should consider offering organizers a cut of the sales tax revenue, as an incentive to bring even more visitors and tax dollars to your fair city.