Law enforcement preparing for 81st annual Sturgis bike rally

South Dakota News

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2020 file photo, bikers ride down Main Street during the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D. This summer’s huge motorcycle rally in South Dakota led to dozens of coronavirus cases in neighboring Minnesota. That’s the finding of a report Friday, Nov. 20, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) — Law enforcement agencies are preparing for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and are on alert for increased outlaw gang activity.

The weeklong event that begins Friday is in its 81st year, and some believe that may mean a larger Hells Angels presence than usual.

The number “81” is metonym, and shorthand for Hells Angels, with H being the 8th letter of the alphabet, and A the first.

Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin says law enforcement is aware of the significance. Merwin said that although the biker crowd is largely respectful to law enforcement, they’re preparing for any confrontation that may occur.

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