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City of Vermillion


Underage Alcohol Violation Diversion Program Launched

The Vermillion Police Department, in partnership with the Clay County Sheriff's Department, understands the potential consequences of underage consumption arrests. Like most arrests, these violations can have potentially long-term effects on a young person's educational and professional career. Our pilot program offers an alternative approach.

Program Description:
The Underage Alcohol Diversion program is intended as an alternative to prosecution for 1st time offenders charged with Underage Consumption (SDCL 35-9-2). Participants will complete an educational and/or an alcohol screening program and demonstrate abstinence for the duration of the program. Successful participants will not have the charge of Underage Consumption filed on their criminal record. The program is not intended to mitigate the penalty of the offense but to provide alternatives to the standard fine and loss of Driver’s License associated with this offense. Candidates for diversion will pay any costs associated with the participation in the program and submit to an alcohol evaluation. Further, the candidate will comply with the recommendation of the evaluation. In its pilot years, 2014/2015, the program is intended to serve participants charged in Clay County by the Vermillion Police Department and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Participation in the program is voluntary.

To be accepted to the program the candidate must:
Have a charge pending for a first violation of Underage Consumption (SDCL 35-9-2).
That offense must be the only offense involved in the incident (ex. DWI, vandalism, assault, etc). If other offenses are associated, all charges will be forwarded to the States Attorney for prosecution.
The offender must have been charged by an officer of the Vermillion Police Department or the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Those charged by other agencies with jurisdiction in Clay County such as the SD Highway Patrol or the USD Police Department must be referred to the program by the Clay County States Attorney.
The candidate will be notified of eligibility by the Diversion Program Officers (Vermillion Police Chief & Clay County Sheriff). A meeting will be scheduled and the candidate must attend.
The candidate must be willing to comply with all requirements of the program as follows:

A successful candidate will:
Agree to all conditions of the program, provided in writing;
Demonstrate abstinence for the duration of the program (60 days) by appearing at the Clay County Sheriff’s Office each morning between 5:30 and 7:30 AM and again each evening between 5:30 and 7:30 PM. The participant will blow into a PBT device to measure the amount of alcohol in the breath sample;
Pay the costs ($120.00) in advance for the PBT testing;
Submit to an alcohol screening at an accredited alcohol counseling center, at the participant’s expense, if any, and comply with any recommendations. The participant must also authorize release of all reports and recommendations from the screener to the Diversion Committee;
The participant will be removed from the program if charged with any non-traffic criminal offenses including additional alcohol violations while participating in the diversion program;
The participant must notify a member of the diversion committee of any contact with law enforcement during the period of participation;
The participant must agree to remain in Clay County for the duration of the program period for the purposes of alcohol testing. Candidates with obligations outside of Clay County which will prohibit twice daily testing will not be considered as candidates for diversion. Testing at other locations is not considered an alternative to participation in this program;

Any person who does not meet the criteria for participation as stated above or fails to meet or agree to any of the requirements for participation will be disqualified from participation;
Participants who violate any of the agreed upon requirements of the program as stated above during the period of participation will be removed from the program. A participant who voluntarily discontinues participation will be considered disqualified. All payments for costs of participation will be forfeited and the original charging documents will be forwarded for prosecution;
Late attendance for breath testing and/or unfavorable contact with law enforcement will result in a requirement to meet with the Diversion Committee to re-evaluate the participant’s likelihood for successful completion of the program. Repeated violations will result in disqualification from the program;
Additional alcohol offenses committed by participants under the age of 21 may result in a new charge of Underage Consumption as well as prosecution for the original offense.
Participants who successfully comply with the agreed upon conditions of the program will receive a letter from the Diversion Committee noting the successful completion and stating that charges related to the original offense will not be filed. The case disposition on the citing officer’s report will indicate that no charges were filed.

The Clay County State’s Attorney will receive notification of participants accepted to, or rejected from admission to the program. The State’s Attorney will also be informed of those participants who successfully complete the diversion program and those who are removed from the program so that prosecution for the original offense can proceed.

The Clay County Alcohol Diversion Program is intended to be completely voluntary on the part of the participant. For many reasons, a potential participant may choose not to participate and may either contest their charge in the court system or proceed with a plea and accept the court’s sentence. This Program is not intended to encourage or deter that avenue or limit a potential participant’s rights. Those who desire to participate in order to protect his/her criminal record will do so voluntarily and at any time may opt out of this program and may exercise those same rights and protections as any other person so charged.

Promoting safe travel within the City of Vermillion

The Vermillion Police Department has recently received a Highway Safety Grant from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety to assist with problem traffic areas within the city. Part of this grant funding has been assigned to the purchase of traffic monitoring equipment to assist the police with identification of high traffic areas with increased speed violations. Using this equipment, the Vermillion Police Department has already collected data in the area where South University Street intersects with Chestnut Street and Burbank Road. Data acquired through this phase has shown a need for increased police presence and speed enforcement in this area. As a result, the VPD will begin increased patrol efforts at this location to encourage motorists to comply with the posted speed limits and thus reduce the risk of accidents and injury to both motorists and pedestrians.
The grant funding received also provides for saturation patrols during various holidays and events throughout the year. The Vermillion Police Department will use this funding to provide increased patrols focused on impaired driving enforcement and the use of safety equipment as highlighted by the annual Click It or Ticket seatbelt campaign. It is our hope that increasing the public’s awareness of these violations will remind the community to operate their vehicles in a safe fashion with regard to speed, safety equipment, and alcohol consumption.
The Vermillion Police Department intends to utilize multiple media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to promote and educate the public of our participation in the various campaigns throughout the year. Like us on Facebook and follow us @VermillionPD on Twitter for updates. Please feel free to find us online or as always, call if you have any questions or concerns.
Wishing everyone safe travels for 2013,
Jacy Nelsen – Sergeant
Vermillion Police Department

2012 Teamwork: working together for a safer community

January 8, 2013
Letter to the Editor - Teamwork: working together for a safer community
From: Matt Betzen, Vermillion Chief of Police
As we start 2013 and look back at 2012, I wanted to write to express my sincere thanks to the citizens of Vermillion who have worked with the Police Department to make Vermillion a safe community. In a free society, it is necessary that citizens participate in the process of developing and maintaining a safe and secure environment. The Police Department is just one facet of the community wide team that is necessary to provide for a safe community. In Vermillion, examples of this close teamwork between the police department and community abound, and I would like to mention two illustrations of this teamwork in action from 2012.
First, the Community wide Safety and Protection Survey was conducted in the spring of this year. This survey required the cooperation of several community members to create and hundreds of citizens who completed and returned the survey. This cooperate effort provide the police department with valuable insight into the needs and perceptions of the community and will be used in planning for the future. A copy of the final results from this survey can be found on our website at: http://vermillionpd.org/survey.aspx
Second, the community’s alcohol license holders worked with the police to develop a reward program for employees who passed alcohol compliance checks. The idea brought forward by the alcohol license holder was to provide a pool of funds that would be used to provide a reward if an employee successfully prevented the purchase of alcohol by a minor during the police department’s compliance check efforts. This program has resulted in $50 in Vermillion Dollars being rewarded to eligible employees during 2012. The funds for these rewards were provided by the community’s alcohol license holders and two local distributors: Dakota Beverage Co., Inc and John A. Conkling Distributing Co., Inc.
Both of these cooperate efforts illustrate the teamwork that is necessary to make Vermillion a safe place. The men and women of the Vermillion Police Department appreciated the trust the citizens of Vermillion have given them and will continue to work hard to be worthy of that trust.
Our wish is that you and yours will have a safe 2013.
Matt Betzen

Vermillion Police Investigation of Domestic Incident Leads to Standoff
December 25, 2012

12/26/2012, 1230pm
Press Release Information: Vermillion Police Department – Additional Information regarding Christmas Day Standoff.
At about 0100, Christmas Morning, an off-duty police officer was awakened by a woman who had fled to his residence. She reported that her husband had held her against her will for several hours, assaulted her, prevented her from calling for help by destroying her cell phone and threatened to kill her. While the Officer was calling for on-duty officers to respond, a witness saw the woman’s husband make two trips from the house to the home’s garage where the husband was known to have several firearms, including scoped rifles and handguns.

The Police Department responded and set up a safety perimeter and made contact with the husband via phone. The husband told officer he was armed and intended to kill himself or force officers to kill him. He also had the couple’s two young children in the home and initially refused to allow them to leave. The wife was transported to the hospital to have her injuries treated. Additionally, resources were called to assist and negotiations continued. At about 0430, the husband agreed to release the two children to the off-duty officer who was a neighbor. The off-duty officer walked up the drive way and the two children were released out the front door to the officer; the children were reunited with their mother.

The Police Department worked jointly with other agencies such as The Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the DCI, the Yankton Police Department, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, The Vermillion Fire Department and Ambulance Service and the University of South Dakota Police to stabilize the situation in an attempt to bring it to a peaceful conclusion. The homes adjacent to the subject’s home were contacted and given the opportunity to evacuate to a safe location. The approach roads were blocked to prevent traffic from entering the area. Negotiators continued to speak with the subject.

The subject stopped communicating with negotiators at about 1020 am. At the same time, perimeter officers heard a gunshot and saw that a round had exited through the rear window of the residence. Tactical resources were used to approach the residence to assess the subject’s condition and reestablish communications. At ~1330, the subject was found deceased in the residence. Initial investigation points to single self-inflicted gunshot wound as the likely cause of death. The subject was a 42 year old Vermillion resident. The situation is still being actively investigated by the Vermillion Police Department, Clay County Sheriff’s Office and DCI.

Safe D-Days Message from the Chief

Next week is the week of Dakota Days (D-Days). This long held traditional celebration includes the D-Days Parade, USD’s Homecoming Game and a variety of celebrations throughout the community. We all look forward to this exciting time of year. At the Police Department, we are working with our Public Safety Partners to make this a safe celebration for everyone.
Past D-Days celebrations have unfortunately included assaults, sexual assaults, alcohol related medical emergencies and other injuries. Our goal this year is to reduce and if possible eliminate these types of occurrences. Further, if one of these tragic events does occur, we will provide the fastest most effective response possible.

Some of the efforts we are undertaking include:
• Significantly increased patrols – This year there will be almost 50% more officers patrolling during high celebration areas in cars, on bikes, and on foot. This will include four officers from Yankton and Clay County Deputies who will be assisting VPD.
• Additional surveillance equipment will allow for better support for patrol officers.
• Special investigative teams made up of Detectives and DCI Investigators will provide quick response to major crimes and proactive enforcement regarding those furnishing alcohol to minors.
• Additional real-time communication with the public through Facebook and Twitter updates.
• The Highway Patrol will be conducting proactive DUI patrols in Vermillion and Clay County.
• Volunteer Fire and EMS personnel will man equipment to provide quick response to medical and fire emergencies.
• Sanford Hospital and USD Volunteers will provide a safe area for intoxicated persons.

How can you be part of the Solution?
• Call immediately if you see something that is unsafe or suspicious.
• Don’t drink if you are under 21.
• Do not furnish alcohol to underage participants.
• Do not drink and drive.
• Be a good neighbor: be courteous to others, throw litter in garbage containers, and do not urinate in public.

Working together we can make this a safe and fun D-Days for everyone.

"Virtual Ride-along" this Dakota Days
October 5 & 6

The University of South Dakota's homecoming celebration, better known as Dakota Days, is traditionally the busiest weekend of the year for the Vermillion Police Department. This year, citizens will have the opportunity to monitor the action in real-time by following the Department on the social media website Twitter. During what it is calling a "virtual ride-along", the VPD will update followers throughout both Friday and Saturday nights with pieces of information, likely ranging from exciting to mundane. Its use of social networking is an effort to keep the public informed in a way that demonstrates cooperation and transparency, while appealing to audiences of all ages. To receive the updates, simply follow @VermillionPD on Twitter.

Community Survey Results

The final report on the community survey conducted in May of 2012 is out! Please See the 'Annual Reports and Statistics' Tab under the VPD Information section.

Clay County Burn Ban In Effect

Effective 07/19/12, the Clay County Commissioners have enacted an emergency ban on open burning throughout the county. "Open Burning" is defined as the intentional burning of any substance, wheather natural or manmade, or the intentional casting off of any burning substance, whether natural or manmade, except the burning of such substanced in a container sufficient sot as to prohibit the escape of any of the burning substances, or any sparks, flames or hot ashes from the container.

Please be careful during this dry period!

Reward for Information on Burglary


Date: 07/13/12

On May 23, 2012, a residential burglary occurred at 509 Linden St. Several items of jewelry were stolen. If you have any information regarding the suspects of this burglary, please contact Det. Crystal Brady at the Vermillion Police Department at 605-677-7070. The owner of the jewelry is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects or the return of the stolen items.

Local Apartments Awarded as Crime-Free Multi-Housing
May 18, 2012

Press Release: 05/18/12

Crime Free Multi-Housing Program in Vermillion, SD

The Parkwood and Riverwood Apartments, located in the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Madison St, have become the first members of the Vermillion Crime Free Multi-Housing (CFMH) Program. The CFMH Program is designed to help tenants, property owners and property managers keep illegal activity off of the premises. The CFMH Program has three phases which include property manager training, on site survey by the Vermillion Police Department and a tenant social to promote the program with the users of the property. As a member of the program, the properties are provided Vermillion Crime Free Multi-Housing Program signs to display on the property.

The Crime Free programs are based on a national program which originated in Mesa, AZ in 1992. The program has expanded to numerous other states and countries. The history of the program has shown a national average of 50 to 60% reduction in crime and/or police calls for properties involved in the program. The program is a partnership between the property and the Vermillion Police Department to help reduce the likelihood for crime to occur. Inquiries about the program may be made to Sgt Trowbridge at the Vermillion Police Department at 605-677-7070 or email at ltrowbridge@vermillionpd.org.

Note: Electronic Photo available via email on request to: mbetzen@vermillionpd.org.

Chief of Police Urges Residents to Buckle Up
May 14, 2012

Dear Vermillion Resident, Employee, or Visitor, The Vermillion Police Department is focused on maintaining a safe community for everyone. We are joining agencies from across the State of South Dakota by participating in the “May Mobilization” to encourage seatbelt usage. Officers will work extra shifts over the next three weeks with a focus on enforcing seatbelt usage. In addition, we will make a special effort to find people who are using their seatbelt and providing them with a reward for doing the right thing!
Using your seatbelt can save your life during a car accident. Seatbelts keep you in the car and are intend to work with your airbags to protect you from injury or death during an accident. Because seatbelt usage is directly tied to survivability in a major car accident they are required by law.
Wearing your seatbelt and requiring your children to buckle up is an easy habit to get into. We never know when or where an accident will occur. The additional enforcement and incentives conducted by the Vermillion Police Department over the next three weeks are intended to remind everyone how important it is to use your seatbelts.
So join me in Buckling Up Vermillion!

Matt Betzen, Chief of Police
Vermillion SD

Vermillion Police Investigate Tax Fraud
May 8, 2012

Press Release 05/08/12
Reference: Tax Return Fraud
On 04/25/12, the Vermillion Police Department was notified of a man acting suspiciously at an ATM in downtown Vermillion. Follow-up investigation revealed the man was using a debit card that had been issued as part of a tax return to withdraw money and appeared to be attempting to conceal his identity from the ATM camera. Further follow-up uncovered a conspiracy to file false tax returns using stolen identities. The conspirators are able to have thousands of dollars placed on debit cards which were then mailed to them. The money was then drawn out of the debit cards before the IRS is able to determine that a fraud has been perpetrated.
Police Detectives contacted and worked closely with U.S. Treasury Special Agents to secure and serve a search warrants on the suspects who were USD students living in the dorms. The University Police Department and University Officials have cooperated fully and continue to assist in the ongoing investigation. The extent of the conspiracy is still being investigated.
"IRS Criminal Investigation has made investigating refund fraud and identity theft a top priority," stated Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the St. Paul field office. "Filing fraudulent tax returns in the names of other individuals may result in significant harm to those individuals whose identities were stolen, as well as a monetary loss against the U.S. Treasury." Refund related identity theft occurs when the identify thief uses the victim’s SSN to file a false income tax return to obtain funds. If the thief files before the victim, the victim may not receive his or her refund in a timely manner.
Officers found convincing evidence that the suspects were attempting to collect names and social security numbers in the Vermillion area. We believe that if the suspects were able to collect that information it was likely used to file fraudulent tax returns. This type of tax fraud is widespread and has made national news in the Tampa Florida area. If you believe someone has filed a fraudulent tax return using your information the IRS provides the following direction:
• Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) using the toll-free number 800-908-4490, or visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov/ (keyword identity theft).
• You may also contact your local IRS-CI at 651-312-8088. The IRS-CI Duty Agent will respond as soon as possible to assist you and evaluate the information obtained.

The process for reporting identity theft does require the taxpayer to work closely with the IRS to verify the crime and resolve and restore the victim’s tax return records. Anyone who has information regarding identity thefts or the related receiving of tax return funds in the Vermillion area should contact the Vermillion Police Department or the IRS.

Vermillion Police Release 2011 Annual Report
April 6, 2012

The Vermillion Police Department has published its annual report for the year 2011. Included in the report are "fast facts", descriptions of Department activities and functions, and statistical information related to call response and enforcement efforts. Find the report by following the link below.

Vermillion Police Investigate Aggravated Assault
October 9, 2011

At about 00:30am on 10/09/11, medical units found a 20 year old man stumbling down the sidewalk in the 300 block of East Main Street who was bleeding from wounds to the neck and face. The man was transported to and treated at the Vermillion Sanford Hospital and later transported to Sioux Falls. He is stable and recovering.
The Vermillion Police Department is investigating the apparent assault.

Vermillion Police Department Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs
April 30, 2011

Vermillion, SD– On April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Vermillion Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to Hy-Vee Foods or Davis Pharmacy. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 242,000 pounds—121 tons—of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,000 state and local law enforcement partners, including the Vermillion Police Department.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Four days after last fall’s event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA has begun drafting regulations to implement the Act.

Vermillion Police Receive Law Enforcement Award
March 27, 2011

Vermillion – The Vermillion Police Department received its second Recognition award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) at the commission’s recent conference in Bethesda, Maryland. Vermillion is one of two South Dakota agencies that meet the CALEA standards. The Rapid City Police Department is a CALEA Accredited agency.

The CALEA Recognition Program is designed to meet the needs of smaller law enforcement agencies. To qualify, an agency must meet 112 standards from the Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies accreditation manual. The standards address life, health and safety issues, critical legal issues and conditions that reduce risk and high liability exposure. Recognition provides objective evidence of an agency’s commitment to improve resource management and service delivery.

In December 2010, a CALEA assessor spent four days with the Vermillion Police Department inspecting policies and procedures, interviewing staff and generally reviewing the operations of the department to ensure compliance will all the standards. A comprehensive written report was filed with CALEA. Last week the Interim Chief of Police Chad Passick, City Manger John Prescott and Vermillion Police Department CALEA Program Manager Betty Mozak attended a hearing before CALEA commissioners who voted unanimously to present the Vermillion Police Department with CALEA’s Recognition award.

Vermillion Police Investigating Fatal Accident
March 20, 2011

Vermillion, SD – The Vermillion Police Department is investigating a fatal car accident that occurred late Sunday afternoon. Shortly after 4:30 pm, police and emergency services responded to a single-vehicle crash at the intersection of Chestnut and South University Street. On arrival, police found that a 32 year old male occupant of the vehicle had died. The other occupant, a 23 year old male, was transported to Sanford Vermillion Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Names of the victims are being withheld at this time pending notification of family.

The investigation is continuing.

Vermillion Police Issue Travel Advisory

Blizzard conditions in the Vermillion area have led Vermillion's police and street department officials to issue a No Travel Advisory for Vermillion area residents. Blowing and drifting snow has made numerous streets dangerous or impassible, and bitter cold wind chills present a danger to those stranded because of the conditions. While this advisory does not amount to a ban on travel, residents are strongly encouraged to avoid any travel which is not absolutely necessary.

Vermillion Police Seeking Law Enforcement Award

Vermillion – In 2008, the Vermillion Police Department received the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) Recognition Award. The program requires departments to submit to a recertification process to include an on-site assessment by a CALEA Assessor every three years. The Assessor will examine all aspects of the department’s policies, procedures, management, operations and support services. The commission’s assessment team is composed of law enforcement officials from similar, out-of-state agencies. Assessing the Vermillion Police Department will be Chief Roy Gordon of the Chevy Chase Village (Maryland) Police Department. The on-site assessment is scheduled starting on December 11th and continuing through December 13th. The results of the assessment will be forwarded to the CALEA Commission. In March 2011, a Commission hearing will make a final determination regarding the reissuing of the Recognition Award to the department.

The CALEA Recognition Program is designed to meet the needs of smaller law enforcement agencies. To qualify, an agency must meet 112 standards from the Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies accreditation manual. The standards address life, health and safety issues; critical legal issues and conditions that reduce risk and high liability exposure. Recognition provides objective confirmation of an agency’s commitment to improve resource management and service delivery.

As part of the on-site assessment, community members are invited to offer comments by calling 605-677-7070 between 9:00 and 11:00 AM on December 13th. Telephone comments are limited to ten minutes and must address the department’s ability to comply with the commission’s standards. Written comments may be mailed to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement, 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155. A copy of the standards is available by contacting the Vermillion Police Department at 605-677-7070.

Contact: Art Mabry
Chief of Police

Vermillion Police to Host Open House
October 30, 2010

The Police Department will once again host its annual Open House on October 30th, from 10 am to 1 pm. We will be serving free hot dogs, chips and soda. Since we have a Halloween theme, children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. There will be vehicle tours, Halloween photos, interactive demonstrations, and lots of candy!! Come meet your local officers and learn about what it is we do.

Vermillion Police Set to Launch Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program
September 22, 2010

Attention: Rental Property Owners, Managers and Property Managers. Crime Free Multi-Housing helps reduce the potential for crime to occur. Those interested in this program may contact Luke Trowbridge at the Vermillion Police Department for information or to reserve your seat in the upcoming training. Managers Training: Monday, October 18th

Vermillion Police Arrest 3 Suspects After Second Night of Burglaries
September 9, 2010

The Vermillion Police Department arrested three Yankton residents after responding to a second night of numerous residential burglaries, vehicle burglaries and stolen vehicles. At least seven occupied residences, located in the central and southeast sections of Vermillion, were entered during the night and valuables stolen. Multiple vehicles were entered and more valuables removed. Additionally, two vehicles were stolen. With the assistance of a witness, officers located three suspects hiding after they had attempted to elude capture. A fourth suspect was able to flee and is being sought by police. Arrested were Quincy Brown, 19, Tyler Lanphear, 18 and James Myers, 19, all of Yankton. Each suspect was charged with multiple offenses including Burglary of a Residence at Night, Trespassing, Grand Theft, Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Possession of Burglary Tools. One of the stolen vehicles and property was recovered by police. The investigation is continuing with additional charges pending. These incidents follow eleven vehicle burglaries the previous night in the 400 block of Carr Street. Vermillion detectives arrested Frank Janreau III, 18, of Vermillion who was charged with eleven counts of Criminal Entry of a Motor Vehicle. Property from those unlawful entries was also recovered. The police do not feel there is a connection between the two night’s events. Vermillion residents who feel they may be the victim of any of these events should contact the Vermillion Police Department at 605-677-7070.

Vermillion Police Arrest Suspect in Numerous Vehicle Burglaries
September 8, 2010

Following the report of 11 vehicle burglaries during the early morning hours of September 7th in and around the 400 block of Carr Street, detectives of the Vermillion Police Department served a search warrant in the 400 block of Stanford Street. As a result of the investigation and search warrant, Frank Janreau III, 18, was arrested and charged with 11 counts of Criminal Entry of a Motor Vehicle and one count of Petty Theft. Property from the thefts was recovered. According to the Vermillion Police Department, this is the second rash of vehicle burglaries they have investigated this year. In May, 10 vehicles were unlawfully entered and property removed. Those incidents are still under investigation. The Vermillion Police Department states it is not unusual to periodically investigate the entry of an unlocked vehicle but the volume of these entries is unusual. Police Chief Art Mabry stated, “We live is a very safe community but even the safest of communities still require the locking of doors. We like to think that isn’t necessary in our community but, in reality, it is necessary everywhere.” Mabry advised it is rare for officers to investigate a burglary where entry was forced. The majority of the time the vehicle or house is left unlocked. According to Mabry, “Suspects refer to this as “Car Hopping” or “Window Shopping” while law enforcement refers to these incidents as crimes of opportunity. Unfortunately, we create the opportunity when we fail to lock our doors.”

Vermillion Police Investigating Injury Hit and Run Accident
August 23, 2010

The Vermillion Police Department is investigating a hit and run accident that occurred Sunday evening in the 300 block of E. Main Street. Officers immediately located the suspect vehicle which was occupied by two females. Both occupants were transported to Vermillion Sanford Hospital for treatment of injuries. The passenger was later transferred to Sioux Falls. The driver was charged with DWI 2nd and vehicular battery. The investigation is continuing.

VPD announces upcoming National Night Out celebration
August 3, 2010

The 27th Annual "National Night Out" will be held on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 from 5-8 pm. This is a night where communities around the nation can band together against crime and drug abuse. Although this is the eighth year that Vermillion is taking part in this event, other communities have been reaping the benefits for over two decades. This year, over 14,625 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world are expected to participate. In all, over 36.7 million people are expected to participate in National Night Out 2010. National Night Out is designed to: (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. Similar to the past several years, the Vermillion Police Department is again sponsoring a cookout in the northwest corner of Prentis Park from 5pm to 8pm. HyVee will be serving hamburgers or hotdogs, chips, and pop at a cost of $1.00/person. The following is a list of activities that we plan to be available: Dunk Tank Train Rides for kids Lollipop Tree for kids Hole in One Golf for kids Fishing Pond for kids Dinosaur Egg Dig for kids Wheel of Fortune for kids Jumping Castle for kids Music provided by Layne Stewart Neighborhoods in Vermillion are also encouraged to have cookouts of their own if they so wish. If any neighborhoods decide to have a cookout, we are requesting that they notify the police department so officers can stop by and get to know the community on a more personal level. Please join the nation in Giving Crime and Drugs A Going Away Party.

Vermillion Police Investigating Burglaries
June 1, 2010

Vermillion, SD – The Vermillion Police Department is investigating numerous vehicle burglaries and one residential burglary that occurred during the early morning hours on Sunday, May 30th. The suspects removed small items of value from nine vehicles which were all unlocked at the time of the incident. During the residential burglary a television was removed from the house which was also unlocked. The resident was asleep at the time of the burglary. All the incidents occurred in the northeast section of the city. The Vermillion Police state it is not unusual to periodically investigate the entry of an unlocked vehicle but the extent of these entries along with the residential burglary is unusual. Police Chief Art Mabry stated, “We live is a very safe community but even the safest of communities still require the locking of doors. We like to think that isn’t necessary in our community but, in reality, it is necessary everywhere.” Mabry advised it is rare for officers to investigate a burglary where entry was forced. The vast majority of the time the vehicle or house is left unlocked. According to Mabry, “Law enforcement refers to these incidents as crimes of opportunity. Unfortunately, we create the opportunity when we fail to lock our doors.” Contacts: Art Mabry Chief of Police Vermillion Police Department (677-7070)

Annual Bike Extravaganza
May 22, 2010

**Vermillion Police Department’s Bike Extravaganza** Join Vermillion Police Officers in Bike Events on Saturday, May 22nd from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Vermillion High School Join Vermillion Police Officers for the following events: .Bike Obstacle Course and Games .Helmet Hook Up Station .Bike Inspection Station .Bike Parade at 12:00 .Prizes and Awards Ceremony following the Bike Parade .Hot dogs, and Chips

Vermillion Balcony Collapse - Press Release
April 25, 2010

**** PRESS RELEASE **** Balcony Collapse Results in Injuries April 25, 2010 Vermillion, SD – Vermillion Police, EMS and Fire units responded to a balcony collapse in the 20 block of W. Main Street. The balcony was attached to a second floor apartment. Approximately ten (10) people were on the balcony at 2:30 AM when it fell. EMS crews transported six (6) to the Vermillion Sanford Hospital for treatment. Additional victims later arrived at the hospital for treatment. Contacts: Art Mabry Chief of Police Vermillion Police Department (677-7070)

Local Businesses Targeted by Counterfeiters
March 26, 2010

Within the past week, several businesses in Vermillion were presented counterfeit money. The majority of the counterfeit cash was $50 bills. While the counterfeit bills have a generally authentic appearance, they do not contain several features that legitimate bills do. The counterfeit bills do not have a security strip or the blue and red fibers. The counterfeit bills are also more faded in color. The easiest way to detect that a bill is counterfeit is to use a universal counterfeit detector pen. When a legitimate bill is marked with this pen, the mark appears a yellowish color. When a counterfeit bill is marked with the pen, the mark is black. These pens can be found in any office supply store. If a counterfeit bill is presented to you or your business, attempt to identify the person and call the Vermillion Police Department. If you are unable to identify the person, attempt to get a license plate number of the suspect's vehicle. Those with non-emergency information related to these incidents are asked to contact Detective Crystal Brady at (605) 677-7070.

Heroes Behind the Badges Blood Drive Success
January 11, 2010

On Monday, January 11, Vermillion hosted the Community Blood Bank as part of the "Heroes Behind the Badges" blood drive. This very worthwhile program encourages community members annually to donate blood to replenish the supply of the Community Blood Bank, which supplies blood and blood products to Vermillion. Historically, this is the largest drive in Vermillion. A huge "thank you" goes out to the Vermillion community for its participation in this event. In total, 81 donations of blood were received Monday - donations which help to replenish and supply local needs. Again, thank you to all who participated.

Phishing Scam Alert
December 7, 2009

Several people in Vermillion have received customer satisfaction survey emails claiming to be from Walmart. The emails states, “You have been selected to access the Walmart 2 Step Survey and win a $150.00 gift certificate.” The email asks that you click on a hyperlink to complete a form and receive the gift certificate. This email is a phishing scam. Do not complete the form requested. Delete this email immediately.

Vermillion Police Address False Crime Reports
December 1, 2009

The Vermillion Police Department, with assistance from the USD Public Safety, arrested Shelby Harkness, 18, for making a false report regarding threatening text messages. Last Tuesday Harkness reported that a former boyfriend, who resides in Nebraska, sent her threatening text messages. During the initial report, she stated she had observed him in the area after receiving the messages and hid from him. Later in the day, Harkness contacted USD Public Safety stating she had observed him inside the Dakota Dome. Officers from USD and the Vermillion Police Department responded to the Dome but were unable to locate the former boyfriend or his vehicle. Nebraska law enforcement was contacted and verified that the vehicle was at his residence. The investigation revealed that Harkness made up the story regarding the threatening text messages and observing him in the area. Vermillion Police Chief, Art Mabry, stated, “We are seeing an increase in false reports involving significant others, former relationships and child custody issues.” According to Mabry, based on the initial report, this case, like others, required immediate and significant resources. As a result, other cases and responsibilities receive limited attention until the case is resolved. Mabry further stated, “In addition to wasted resources, people’s lives can be ruined by these allegations even when they are proved to be false. Educational opportunities such as medical or law school, employment and relationships are often lost for both the person making the false allegation and the victim of the allegation.” Mabry said the investigation is continuing to determine if more serious charges are warranted concerning statements made by Harkness when obtaining a Temporary Protection Order for her former boyfriend.

Law Enforcement Explorers

The Vermillion Police Departmetnt is seeking individuals aged 14 to 21 interested in joining our local Law Enforcement Explorers post. Exploring is an excellent way to learn about a career in law enforcement while learning about tactics, techniques, and getting to know local officers. Contact Officer Luke Trowbridge for more information by calling (605) 677-7070, or email him at ltrowbridge@vermillionpd.org.