Law enforcement prepares for Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Local News

STURGIS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s going to be a busy few days for law enforcement across the Black Hills. Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists are already making their way to Sturgis for the 80th annual Motorcycle Rally.

As more bikes make their way to the Black Hills, Pennington County Lt. Dustin Morrison says one of the biggest concerns for law enforcement is motorcycle crashes.

“Speed and alcohol are always a factor involved in a lot of motorcycle crashes as well as we have some beautiful areas to ride so keep that in mind. Slow down, don’t drink and drive, and enjoy your stay here,” Lt. Morrison said.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office will have crews in Hill City and Keystone as well as patrols along roads throughout the Black Hills.

“As usual if you need something while you are in those communities or in Pennington County, find us in the yellow shirts and we’ll be there to help you any way we can,” Lt. Morrison said.

Both the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and Sturgis Police Department say that preparing for this year’s motorcycle rally is similar to previous rallies. However, they are adding some extra health precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We prepare the best we can with what we have. There’s always the unknown with the Sturgis Rally,” Chief Vandewater said.

Sturgis Chief of Police Geody Vandewater says visitors at the Sturgis Rally can take health precautions by social distancing, not going into buildings that are crowded, wearing a mask, and using these hand sanitation stations that are located throughout downtown Sturgis.

“When you take a town of 7,000 people and you put in a thousand people, you put in 10,000 people, you put in 100,000 people, it puts in a whole new different animal to it so we will do anything in our power to keep everyone safe,” Chief Vandewater said.

Sturgis Police are also encouraging everyone, if you see something, say something, whether it’s about drinking and driving or human trafficking, call the police.

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