News Item: Agencies prepare for Hells Angels
(Category: Biker News)
Posted by
Sunday 04 June 2006 - 10:36:26

POWELL (AP) -- Local law enforcement agencies are meeting twice a week -- sometimes joined by state and federal officials -- in preparation for the Hells Angels 2006 World Run, scheduled to take place July 26-30 in Cody.

As many as 3,000 Hells Angels are expected at the event, which coincides with the Park County Fair.

Park County Sheriff Scott Steward and Powell Police Chief Tim Feathers say research has shown that adequate preparation can reduce the risk of violence when members of the biker gang gather. They've been talking with officials in Gunnison, Colo., Laconia, N.H., and Missoula, Mont., where previous Hells Angels events have been held.

"Really, most of your work is involved in the planning up front," Feathers said. "If you do your planning well and it's well-organized and things are structured, things run smoothly."

At the other end of the spectrum, Steward said, is Steamboat Springs, Colo., where officials didn't learn of the biker event until just weeks before the Hells Angels arrived. Law enforcement was left short-handed, and the Steamboat Pilot reported that gang members prevented police from securing the crime scene when two Hells Angels were shot.

"Looking at past events, you have a contrast," Feathers said. "If law enforcement is not well-prepared and adequately staffed, there is a greater potential for violence."

Earlier this year, Gov. Dave Freudenthal allocated up to $500,000 through the Wyoming attorney general's office to pay for additional law enforcement staffing at the 2006 World Run. Authorities won't say how many officers will be brought in, but officials at Northwest College in nearby Powell say they're preparing to house about 200 officers.

"It can go good, or it can go bad," Steward said. "In most cases we've seen, if there is a large law enforcement presence, things go smoothly. So we are erring on the side of being extremely organized. We hope the largest criticism we get is that nothing happens and we have too many officers."

This news item is from White Trash Networks
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