Law enforcement prepares for Sturgis Rally by drawing from reserves, out-of-state
RAPID CITY, SD — Bikers are coming, and police are prepared.
Some 20 deputies from out of state or the reserve will hit the streets to keep rally-goers safe.
Law enforcement helps people in countless situations.
“Sometimes a big part of our jobs is helping people with directions,” said Pennington County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Willie Whelchel, “Sometimes its where to eat, where the restaurants are, hotels, they’re trying to find where their reservation is”.
Eight police officers from out of state are stationed in towns like Keystone and Wall.
Some, like Chief Jim Davis of the University of Nebraska, Kearney, come back every year and develop relationships with the community.
“I think Walt Disney had it wrong,” said Davis, “I don’t think Disneyland is the happiest place on earth, I think the Black Hills is.”
Serving during the Rally also helps law enforcement sharpen their skills so they can better serve their communities back home.
“A lot of the duties we do here is meet and greet going out and establishing positive community relations,” said John Sumsion of the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, “As a police instructor, that is one of the topics I teach. It really helps me apply what I teach.”
Officials say deputies mostly deal with traffic like crashes and DUI stops.
During the Rally deputies work overtime to keep the streets safe. Part time and reserve deputies are also called into service.
As officers from the region pitch in for the Rally, Whechel also says it builds relationships in law enforcement.
“Were very lucky that these other communities will let their officers come out here and work for us for a week or 10 days and assist us”