77th Rally Begins in

National Police Week


Joel Ortiz – 13 Years of Rally Service

“If there is one thing I enjoy about the Rally, it’s the people.”

Joel 2_sm.jpgHometown: Ponce, Puerto Rico

Resides: Sturgis, South Dakota. (Joel moved to the Black Hills in 1999 after he sought a transfer to serve at Fort Meade.)

Service: Joined Sturgis Police Reserve in 2003

Previous Service: U.S. Army, 1981-2005; Retired Sergeant First Class

Business owner: Xtreme Dakota Bicycle, Sturgis, South Dakota

Family: Kristi, wife; Micah, 15 years old; Elisabeth 13 years old

First Sturgis Motorcycle Rally: 2004

First Bike: 1980 Yamaha 400cc (Puerto Rico)

Joel’s Personal Ride: 2007 Softail Custom

Favorite Hobby: Mountain biking -- “When you are on the road you see one aspect of the Black Hills, but when you are on the trails, you get to see so many other different things that you didn’t even know existed. There are lakes that people don’t realize that are here, that you can’t see from the car or a motorcycle. You get to see so much more wildlife – the good and the bad (e.g. mountain lions). I ride mostly by myself. It clears my mind.”

Joel and Troy_sm.jpgWhy he moved to the Black Hills: “I’ve traveled all over the world, and to work here, raise a family and live, it’s just a great place. The people here are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met – you don’t see that every where you go, the level of warmth and support that people offer here.”

Working Sturgis Rally: “If there is one thing I enjoy about the rally, it’s the people. The people who come here, they are always thanking us, offering us water, taking care of us. I’ve worked foot patrol for years, and you get to see a lot of and interact with people more on foot than on motorcycle patrol. With the motorcycles, however, I do more of the high-profile events because of all the escorts we do. I am honored that the Chief of Police has seen me as fit for this role.