RALLY RIDE ALONG: A day in the life of a Pennington County Sheriff’s Deputy
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally puts added pressure on the area's first responders. Here's a look at a day of their work.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Matt Veal has been serving the public since 1996.
He’s currently a reserve deputy with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and patrols big events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which brings in thousands annually.
That jump in numbers takes its toll on Veal and other law enforcement.
“When you have this many people come into a specific area, it get’s busy,” Veal said. “Even if it’s not anything deviant, it’s just busy. Because of the crowd.”
This is a time of year that the tendency for emergency situations heats up – making their action and response critical.
“The thrill is one aspect of it but staying in control and keeping the big picture in mind is more important than just the thrill,” Veal said.
Veal’s day starts with loading up and taking in his surroundings before heading out.
“You look at everything and if something gets your attention, you give it a second look,” Veal said.
Matt patrols the area of Keystone and has for years.
A job that relies on his communication with his fellow first responders and those he pulls stops.
“It’s not about force, it’s not about firepower, it’s about communicating with subjects that you encounter,” Veal said.
Shedding light on a busy time of year for law enforcement.