SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Law enforcement has wrapped up a busy week in western KELOLAND.
With hundreds of thousands of visitors, the city of Sturgis temporarily becomes the largest community in the state.
With that many people enforcing the laws can be a challenge.
But over the years the Sturgis Police Department has learned what works and what doesn’t.
Among the sea of bikes and people, those attending the rally also notice a police presence.
Tanner Weaver grew up in Sturgis and has attended the rally since he was a teenager.
Now he’s patrolling the streets as a member of the Sturgis Police Department.
Working the day shift Weaver doesn’t see as many drinking and driving situations but he has been writing a lot of tickets for no protective eyewear, people not stopping at stop signs.
“Speeding as well, a lot of people like to accelerate pretty rapidly out of the stop signs whether it’s to show off how quick their bike is or show off how loud it is,” said Weaver
For the rally, the Sturgis Police Department brings in officers from all over the United States.
And while arrests and enforcement are a big part of what they do, there is an effort to create relationships.
“Interactions, whether it’s a simple wave of recognition or comparing hairlines or lack thereof.
Weaver says the majority of the contact he has with people, even when he’s pulling them over, is positive.
“I would say the majority of the contacts with them, they are always super friendly, they are always apologetic for the violation they do most of the time, so I would say the majority of the time they are very friendly people,” said Weaver.
Sturgis police Chief, Geody Vandewater, says he encourages that face to face contact with people.
“We are out building positive relationships as well,” said Vandewater.
He has bikers who come back year after year and come up to him to say hi.
“Overall it’s been a good rally, we’ve had a few issues which are indicative of a rally, you know you put this many people in our community we are going to see and deal with a lot of issues form minor traffic stops to major felony arrests,” said Vandewater.
DUIs were down this year’s rally, however, Drug arrests were up by nearly 60 percent.