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Pierre, S.D. –If you see someone damaging public property, officials with the Pierre Police Department and the South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks are asking you to let them know.
Following a recent uptick in vandalism and littering along Pierre’s riverfront, the two agencies are working together to deter the illegal activity.
“Damage to public property results in a direct cost to all of our citizens,” said Ryan Raynor, South Dakota Dept. of Game Fish and Parks. “It’s a benefit to everyone if our public property doesn’t require repair or replacement.”
Pierre Police Chief, Dave Panzer, pointing to a recent incident near Steamboat Park, said that some vandals had pulled down a light pole. It costs the city, and ultimately the taxpayers, about $1,200 to replace that pole and safely relight the area. The Dept. of Game, Fish and Parks has also recently responded to vandalism on LaFramboise Island and on other state property.
The two agencies aren’t relying solely on the citizen reports to catch vandals, they are increasing patrols and employing the use of surveillance cameras.
“For a number of years now, we have had video cameras positioned throughout our public property,” said Chief Panzer. “The hope is that the cameras will deter bad behavior, but if not, we can often catch the culprits on camera making prosecution easier.”
People who are caught littering or intentionally damaging public property are subject to fines and potentially jail time.
If you see someone damaging public property in Pierre or have information about recent vandalism, you are asked to call the Pierre Police Department at 605.773.7410 or the Dept. of Game Fish and Parks TIPs line at 1.888.683.7224. Informants can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward if the information provided leads to an arrest.