PIERRE, S.D. – State officials will meet with the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate to discuss public safety on the Lake Traverse Reservation and surrounding area on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at 1 p.m. CDT at the tribal headquarters in Agency Village, S.D.

State officials attending the meeting include the Secretary of Public Safety, Superintendent of the Highway Patrol, the Director of the Division of Criminal Investigation, a representative from the Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of Tribal Relations.

“On behalf of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, we are grateful for the opportunity to host a joint law enforcement forum, whereupon our communities can discuss the public safety and jurisdictional challenges we have on the Lake Traverse Reservation. It also gives our two law enforcements, the Tribe and State, an opportunity to inform our community members about the issues and challenges we face together, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking and other violent crimes that impact both communities,” said Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe Chairman David Flute. “I am thankful for Governor Daugaard’s leadership in the state, and his support of the SWST hosting this community public safety forum for all our members, tribal and non-tribal, in northeast South Dakota.”

“We are honored that the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate leadership has invited us to present at this community meeting on public safety,” said Steve Emery, Secretary of Tribal Relations. “We want to make sure that our constituents in all areas of the state are well informed of public safety issues, challenges and solutions.”

This public safety meeting is open to the public and tribal community members are encouraged to attend.

South Dakota Highway Patrol Cracking Down on Seatbelt Violators

December 12, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s Highway Patrol has reinforced its efforts to encourage more motorists to wear their seatbelts.

When conducting a traffic stop, Highway Patrol troopers will issue a seatbelt citation to all unrestrained occupants in accordance with state law and in addition to enforcement action on the primary traffic violation. The new directive began Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Col. Craig Price, the superintendent of the Highway Patrol, says nearly 72 percent of the Patrol’s 9,000 contacts with those not wearing seatbelts in 2015 resulted in a written citation.  Price says this is part of an increased statewide effort to heighten awareness about the need to wear seatbelts.

“One of our main objectives is to encourage more people to wear their seatbelts,” he says. “In the last five years, 62  percent of all South Dakota fatalities in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing seatbelts. That is way too many.”

Seatbelt education and enforcement continue to be major goals for the Department of Public Safety, which has partnered with the Department of Health on the statewide effort. Lee Axdahl, director of the Office of Highway Safety, says both departments are working together to increase seatbelt usage.

“Nobody gets up in the morning thinking this will be their last day,” Axdahl says. “We want to use this effort as a way to urge more people to buckle up so they can get home safely to their loved ones.”

The Highway Patrol and Office of Highway Safety are both part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.