For the fourth year in a row, Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen has submitted a post-event report and has made public statements that include errors, accusations, hyperbole, false claims and information taken out of context. His increasing demands and unwillingness to work collaboratively have made event planning more challenging and resulted in unnecessary discussions and disputes between our organizations.

The current agreement between Burning Man and Pershing County is the culmination of months of discussions among the stakeholders, and includes many years of data and anticipated future growth. Nevertheless, ever since Sheriff Allen came into office in 2015, he has been trying to find ways to expand his operations. He has adopted BLM cases into the county system instead of having BLM handle its citations and arrests in the federal system. This adds BLM citations and arrests to the Sheriff’s statistics.

Allen’s actions give the impression crime in Black Rock City is higher than it actually is.

From 1990 to 2014 we were able to work collaboratively with Sheriff Allen’s predecessors. They were able to provide law enforcement in Black Rock City with the budget they were allocated by the Board of County Commissioners, and were able to remain focused on public safety by responding to calls for service, rather than attempting to drive up the number of arrests and citations as Sheriff Allen has told the media he has been doing.

We look forward to working with the Pershing County Commissioners, the District Attorney and the Sheriff in a constructive dialog about the actual public health and safety issues for Burning Man in 2019 and beyond.

Jim Graham

Burning Man Senior Advisor, Special Projects,                 Communications team