Meade County Sheriff to say goodbye to the Sturgis Rally soon

Sheriff Ron Merwin is nearly done working his last rally since his term ends January 2023

STURGIS, S.D. – With the last media briefing Friday afternoon, conversation centered on Sheriff Ron Merwin since he’s nearly done working his last Rally.

SmilesMerwin has been sheriff since 1990, but has been around for 40 of the 82 rallies.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” he said. “My first rally was in 1982, and the park was still open. So, I’ve been here as long as Buffalo Chip has.”

“Every year is a little different. Every year I think it’s been great. I think that overall, the highlight would be just all the staff coming together,” Merwin said. “People come from all over the United States throughout the years to work here and everybody’s always gotten along. We’ve had a bump here and there every now and then, but even the bumps we get through and life goes on.”

His term will end January 2023, so he still has a few months — but the rally’s end is coming fast.

Of all the things that a sheriff might’ve faced in, there was one thing that always put Merwin a little more on edge.Public Works Building

“I get nervous every time my guys get called to the campgrounds just because that what if, you know? The people have been wonderful and they’ve been great to deal with and we haven’t had any incidences,” he said. “Back in the eighties, we didn’t go into campgrounds, you just didn’t go in there. You get rocked and your cars would come out with broken windows. Those times have changed. Now, you go to a campground, it’s like a city, those guys help us out.”

Merwin also says that every day the pressure for officers is anticipating what could happen, even if it doesn’t. Luckily, this year hasn’t had too many issues to handle.

Sturgis Chief of Police Geody VanDewater shared similar sentiments about this year’s rally.

“Overall issues are down. Complaints, whether that’s citizens, whether that’s coworkers, whether that’s officers, whether it’s other city staff, I think everybody’s got along great. And it’s been a very successful rally with very minor issues or concerns,” he said. “The numbers are down overall. From Sturgis PD standpoint, it’s been an excellent rally and we got two more days to get through.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News, Sturgis Rally