Security and safety at The Big Fresno Fair

Security is the top concern at The Big Fresno Fair during the busy weekend.
October 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Security is the top concern at The Big Fresno Fair during the busy weekend. Safety starts at the gates where security checks people for weapons and other items that are not allowed to be brought into the fair. Saturday fair gates closed at 11 p.m. But security personnel continued to patrol the grounds and the surrounding area until midnight when the fair closes.

Officers say it's been a safe and orderly fair so far and they want to keep it that way. Anywhere from 60 to 80,000 people pack the fairgrounds on a weekend night. Security officers are on their A game. Officers walk the fairgrounds and try to be as visible as possible to deter crimes from taking place.

"Hopefully people see our officers, recognize them as law enforcement professionals," David Gibeault, from the Fresno Police Department said.

On average there are 50 police officers walking the fairgrounds and about 100 private security officers.

"In addition to them we're going to have, gang officers walking around the fair ground, I'll have traffic officers in the exterior of the fair, bureau impact teams, checking just to make sure those crimes of opportunities aren't followed up on," Gibeault said.

Theft is always one thing security officers are keeping an eye out for. They also look out for potential gang members that could threaten people's safety. Security officers are trained to identity trouble and take the necessary action.

"People have the right to dress how they want to dress and have the right to have tattoos on their body what we look for something in furtherance of that," Gibeault said. "If we see something in furtherance of gang activity, for instance signs running through the crowds, challenging someone to fights all of that will lead us to eject somebody from the fair."

Some people in the crowds say they have felt as safe at the fairgrounds as any place. Adding the police presence eases their mind.

"I felt very safe with my family, we had a blast and with the presence of all the police here, it was perfect for me and my daughters," said fairgoer Juliet Tunneil.

Officers don't have any specific numbers but they say there have been fewer arrests and incidences at this year's fair compared to last years.