Police call Sturig’s 80th an ‘overall a good Rally’

Some arrest numbers are up in Sturgis.
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 6:52 PM MDT
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STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - Wednesday is typically the busiest day for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and authorities there are keeping track of the trends, saying the pandemic has hit attendance, but not as much as was expected.

The Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin and the Sturgis Police Chief Geody VanDewater said, so far, it’s been “overall a good Rally.”

While they do not have hard numbers, VanDewater estimates that the number of attendees is slightly down from last year because of the pandemic, but not by much.

Law enforcement said Tuesday was an unusually quiet night in the City, but arrest numbers in the county are up.

There have been 230 bookings into the Meade County Jail, compared to 199 at this time last year.

According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, the Highway Patrol has made 82 DUI arrests in the district to date. There have been 128 misdemeanor drug arrests and 71 felony drug arrests.

They are reporting 65 total accidents, 31 non-injury and 33 with injuries, and one fatal accident.

Merwin said numbers are up for the county at campgrounds, but both he and VanDewater noted there had been an outpouring of support for law enforcement.

“It’s almost overwhelming, the number of people that are positive to law enforcement,” said VanDewater. “They’re coming up to our guys and gals and asking, ‘Hey, can I get you a water?’ ‘Hey, do you need a snack?’ ‘Hey, can I buy that bill you’re eating?’ They’re very thankful for the work we’re doing, and they’re very thankful for us in general.”

VanDewater anticipates more heat-related medical emergencies since Wednesday was so hot.

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