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Two things are clear: There will be no official Hollister
Independence Rally this year. And, the bikers will come anyway.
After that what exactly will happen this Fourth of July weekend is
still murky. How many bikers will come? And, more importantly, how
will public safety officials police the non-official event?
Two things are clear: There will be no official Hollister Independence Rally this year. And, the bikers will come anyway. After that what exactly will happen this Fourth of July weekend is still murky. How many bikers will come? And, more importantly, how will public safety officials police the non-official event?

The city of Hollister has done a good job getting the word out that the event has been canceled. Major news sources in the state including the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times have written stories about the demise of the storied rally. But it only takes a quick glance at the Free Lance’s letters to editor over the last few weeks to realize that many bikers plan on making an appearance regardless. So, local law enforcement agencies need to shine some light on how they will deal with those bikers who do appear.

Hollister Police Chief Jeff Miller, Sheriff Curtis Hill and California Highway Patrol Commander Otto Knorr should tell us their plan to keep the peace when the Hogs rumble into town. Unfortunately, police have made a habit of keeping their rally plans to themselves because they don’t want to tip off the bad guys.

This year, however, we feel it is especially important to assure the community there is a plan for two reasons.

The first is the City Council canceled the rally because of the $250,000 law enforcement bill the city got stuck with last year. Many people will be keenly interested in how much a police presence will cost Hollister this year.

The second reason is lots of bikers have come to expect an event on the Fourth of July in Hollister, and they will show up. If nothing’s going on, the potential for trouble is greatly increased. It is more than reasonable to expect police and city officials to let the community know how they plan to keep it under control.

The city and county should realize public’s right to know about their own safety outweighs the argument of possibly attracting criminals and disclose how our law enforcement officials are working to ensure a safe downtown this year.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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