RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Each year when the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally begins, the town’s police department grows substantially to handle the thousands of riders that come in from around the world.

For 10 days at the beginning of August, the Sturgis police department is constantly patrolling.

“I love the rally because it’s busy. We’re constantly doing stuff, it makes the nights go by quick and usually half the time the public is really good with us and that makes it better,” Teal Schmidt, a Sturgis police officer, said.

KELOLAND News got to ride along with Sturgis officers for a couple hours this week. During that time, multiple moving violation warnings were handed out. But those aren’t the biggest concerns for officers.

“Our biggest violation would probably be DUIs,” Schmidt said.

They also see open container violations and traffic offenses. Police Chief Geody Vandewater says their biggest headache though is parking.

“People parking where they’re not supposed to, whether it’s no parking zones, motorcycle only, we get people parking in handicap, we even get people that are inpatient enough that they’re parking in people’s driveways and blocking their driveway,” Vandewater said.

To deal with the ramp-up of patrolling during rally week, the police department hires on part-time officers from all over — like Dan Peach, a police officer from Minnesota.

“So I have to use my vacation hours at my full-time job and then the first day of work we get sworn in as South Dakota officers,” Peach said.

“We turn into a pretty big department, probably close to the third largest police department for the state of South Dakota for 10 days,” Vandewater said.

Extra eyes watching over Sturgis to serve and protect locals and visitors alike.