Funnel cakes, live stock exhibits and amusement rides are a part of the many attractions at the Scioto County Fair. However, another inaugural part of the fair that is never mentioned in the promos is the security.
After all, fair participants wouldn’t have the opportunity to share their fondest memories with loved ones without their safety being ensured.
Every year, the Scioto County Fair Board is adamant about the safety of their customers and Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini is tasked with that challenge.
“Anytime you have a large group of individuals, it’s a challenge to make sure everybody is secure,” Donini said. “I think when they come out here and see the black shirts and the cruisers, they know if something were to go wrong, we’d be available to address it.
” … The bottom line is we’re here to try to prevent that from happening. Probably the worse thing we get out here is teenagers fighting a lot or some domestics. The groups of teenagers that are hanging around when the events are over, that’s when we send our guys out to kind of monitor. We don’t but in but we just make sure nobody is congregating to the point where it looks like there is going to be some sort of fight or something.”
According to Donini, the one aspect of security that is easier at a place like the Scioto County Fair is the fact that alcohol is band from the premises.
“The county fair is not as difficult as you might think mainly because there is no alcohol on the grounds, which is great,” Donini said. “Don’t get me wrong, somebody might sneak it in and we might miss it, but the majority of them are pretty decent spectators.”
The community seems to appreciate the security at the fair.
“The fact they see us out here is a relief to the community,” Donini said. “I scroll through these booths every once in a while and you’d be amazed at how many people stop me and thank me for me service. I really appreciate it. There’s just a lot of community out pour.”
The key to providing adequate security is having enough manpower, according to Donini. One example would be the traffic. The fair board wants traffic to continuously flow in an efficient manner. On the north end of the lot, at night, the police officers only allow specters to drive north. It makes those individuals drive a little out of their way but Donini said it speeds up the entire process.
“It’s just a matter of having enough personnel,” Donini said. “Plus we put a supervisor out every night. On Monday, I put a sergeant out and then every night there after, I have a captain out here to make sure everybody gets in the right spots and that there’s some direction, and everybody knows what they’re doing.
“We absorb the cost for the captains through our general fund because I think it’s important to have somebody supervising the other 15 or 16 people that are going to be out here during a 24 hour period.”
Of the officers that rotate throughout the fair during a shift, they will be located at the gate where the exchange of money is taking place or they will be on patrol.
During the main attractions, there will be four to six officers working the event. On Saturday, during the demolition derby, Donini said as many as 12 officers could possibly be patrolling.
Donini said the fair board deserves a lot of credit for the security. It’s a high priority and every year, the fair board gives the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office the resources needed to secure the Scioto County Fair.
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.