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    Posted July 3, 2015 by
    Hollister, California

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    Hollister 4th of July Biker Rally

    U.S. leaders at home and abroad are taking steps to increase security and surveillance ahead of the July 4 holiday, following a warning from security officials that such gatherings could be targets of a terror threat.

    Police prepare for the worst Hollister’s annual Freedom Rally is heaven for motorcycle lovers, but a big risk in the eyes of law enforcement.

    “There is a certain criminal element that frequents events like this, and we have to be prepared for whatever is going to happen,” said Hollister Police Capt. Carlos Reynoso.

    Officers from Monterey County, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Fresno are helping Hollister police. Officers are patrolling the downtown area in shifts, staggering teams in specific zones.

    Police also have an intelligence center, which consists of a group of officers monitoring the surveillance cameras live around town.

    Police said they have to be ready because there is an inherent risk of organized crime at a bike rally of this size.

    They said having officers on the ground won't stop the criminals.

    “The incidents that have happened in other rallies and other events. The ones that have gotten the most violent, there's officers there and they don't seem to care whether they are there or not,” Reynoso said. “So we are going to do like we always do. We are going to be vigilant, be visible.”

    Hollister’s mayor, Ignacio Velazquez, and city council decided the event was worth the risk since it's a tradition that brings the city revenue.

    “It brings in between $5 and $10 million in revenue,” Velazquez said. “So that's a big boost for our local businesses, very helpful and again, it helps people come and visit us all year long.”

    The bikers said they are happy to make their pilgrimage to what some call the birthplace of the American biker.

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