Security beefed up for bike week
Sandusky Register Staff
Mar 26, 2015 at 3:40 PM
Local officials are reminding motorists to brake for safety during Ohio Bike Week.
Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Paul Sigsworth said the 10-day event is relatively safe, but he's prepared to deal with any problems if necessary.
"We will have additional complement deputies working at the fairgrounds during [Ohio] Bike Week and we will cover any calls as needed to ensure the safety of all the attendees," he said.
Charlie Sams, Sandusky's acting police chief, is also readying his force for the event beginning June 4.
"We have our normal staff working here in the city and we supplement that staff with officers downtown," Sams said "
Up to 30 officers will patrol the downtown area, according to Steve Ernst, president of Advantage Entertainment, which organizes the event for NorthCoast Thunder Productions.
Authorities will monitor a crowd exceeding last year's 155,235 attendees, according to Ernst.
Sigsworth said law enforcement's chief concern is making sure no one gets hurt or killed during the festivities.
In June 2008, there were five separate motorcycle-related deaths. One year prior, 33 motorcycle crashes occurred in Erie County and 190 motorcycle fatalities were reported in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
Officials will also try to reduce the amount of crime compared to last year's event.
About $12,000 of Ohio Bike Week property was stolen, including an inflatable Budweiser and Harley-Davidson logo.
Guests at the event also lost expensive possessions.
Three Cleveland men had their Harley-Davidson motorcycles stolen from the Best Budget Inn on Millan Road last year. The estimated total of the three bikes was $50,000.
Carol Harvey, front-desk manager for Bellevue Hotel and Suites and the company owning the Best Budget Inn, recommended bikers book rooms at hotels that have night security.
But organizers for the event said everything they can control will be as safe as possible.
Ernst said about 40 asset protection officers will assist police officers patrolling at the various events.
He met with state troopers, Border Patrol officers and other officials last week to finalize safety plans.
"We want the roads to be safe," he said. "It's important for [motorists] to respect drivers and behave appropriately."
How to stay safe during Ohio Bike Week
-Secure your property.
-Park in a well-lit area.
-Make sure your vehicle is locked.
-Keep an eye on your property as much as you can.
-Don't drink and drive.
-Use public transportation, the shuttle program and city taxi services.
-Drivers should use caution by looking both ways before turning and yielding to motorcyclists.
(Source: Local law enforcement and Advantage Entertainment)