The Title of Highest Crime Rate is Hold by This South Dakota City

South Dakota is known for its beautiful scenery, important historical sites, and diversified culture. However, not every area in the state ensures safety and tranquility. Certain cities have high rates of both violent and property crimes, posing a risk to their residents and visitors.

According to the most recent FBI crime data, CHAMBER, a small but historically significant hamlet, is South Dakota’s most hazardous city.

Chamberlain’s Crime Stats

Chamberlain, located in Brule County along the Missouri River, with a population of around 2,300 people and a median household income of $45,000.

The Title of Highest Crime Rate is Hold by This South Dakota City

The city is known for housing the South Dakota Hall of Fame, which honors the state’s important personalities and accomplishments. However, Chamberlain faces a worrisome issue: according to the FBI’s 2019 report, it has the highest crime rate in the state.

According to the study, Chamberlain had 140 incidences in 2019, with 24 classified as violent and 116 as property offenses. The violent crime rate stood at 10.4 per 1,000 persons, more than double the state average of 3.95 and higher than the national norm of 4.

The property crime rate was 50.2 per 1,000 residents, which exceeded both the state average of 18.91 and the national median of 19. The most common forms of crimes in Chamberlain were theft, burglary, and assaults.

Chamberlain’s Crime Factors

What makes Chamberlain an unsafe area to live or visit? A number of variables contribute to the city’s high crime rate:

  • Poverty: Chamberlain’s poverty rate is 16.5%, higher than both the state average of 12.6% and the national average of 10.5%. Economic difficulty can cause sentiments of desperation, despair, and hopelessness, which can serve as motivators for criminal behavior.
  • Drugs: Chamberlain is dealing with a serious drug problem, mainly methamphetamine. According to the Chamberlain Police Department, meth is the most commonly used narcotic in the city and is the leading cause of most criminal events. Meth usage can cause psychosis, anger, and violence, as well as addiction and health issues.
The Title of Highest Crime Rate is Hold by This South Dakota City
  • Chamberlain’s closeness to Interstate 90 makes it a key route for narcotics trafficking and smuggling. Furthermore, its closeness to the Lower Brule and Crow Creek Indian Reservations, which have significant levels of poverty, unemployment, and substance abuse, may cause crime to flow over into Chamberlain.
  • Law Enforcement: Chamberlain has a small and understaffed police force, making it difficult to prevent and address criminal activities effectively.
  • The city’s police department has only 10 full-time officers and two part-time officers, which is insufficient to serve the area and population adequately. Furthermore, the department lacks the essential resources and equipment to adequately address the current crime problem.


Chamberlain has a rich history and culture, but it also faces a serious crime problem. Poverty, drug-related difficulties, the city’s geographical location, and law enforcement challenges all contribute to a perception of an unsafe and uninviting atmosphere for both residents and tourists.

To improve the situation, Chamberlain requires additional help and action from both state and federal authorities, as well as strong community participation, in order to address the root causes of crime and improve the general quality of life in the city.

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