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Local sheriff embarks on visionary quest to police Burning Man

(Photo: Getty Images)

Burning Man, the annual gathering that asks, “What if George Miller directed a community-theater production of Hair?,” will only register a 7.9 on the weird Richter scale this year as NBC 4 NY reports that a local cop has vowed to up the police presence at this year’s festival. Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen—literally the new sheriff in town after being elected back in January—says that he and the 31 police officers (four more than last year) roaming the event grounds “will be upholding the law to the best of our ability.”

Special emphasis should be placed on that last part, though, as according to the Associated Press the festival drew a peak crowd of 65,922 people last year. Allen acknowledges this, admitting that even with the help of other law-enforcement agencies he doesn’t have enough manpower ”to issue citations to 70,000 naked people.” Still, Allen’s proclamation sets a different tone from his predecessor, a “Burner-friendly” sheriff who halted prosecution of pot charges entirely at last year’s festivities. So listen up, burners, this is important: Go ahead and do your naked body-paint thing, but if you puke on a cop on the playa this year, whatever you do, don’t mention the ayahuasca.

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