- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Sioux Falls is losing its state Emergency Management office in a move that state public safety officials say will better position them to respond to crises and disasters, especially in smaller communities.

But Minnehaha County officials aren’t sold that reorganization efforts are the right move for South Dakota’s most densely populated metropolitan area, the Argus Leader newspaper reported (https://argusne.ws/1HhbvFR ).

The Office of Emergency Management is eliminating two regional offices by moving its Sioux Falls and Pierre branch responders to Mitchell and Rapid City.

“I think having a person here would be better,” Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth said. “The potential for disaster is greater here than it is in, let’s say, Harding County. With our population and the transportation issues, the infrastructure issues that we have - we could easily have some incredible disasters out this way.”

Office of Emergency Management Director Tina Titze acknowledged that but said South Dakota’s largest county and city are well suited to address emergencies without immediate state help.

“What we find is it’s the other counties, some of the smaller-populated counties, that need us to respond more quickly to assist them because they just don’t have those resources available,” she said.


Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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