DES MOINES, Iowa -- A brand new police force is on patrol tonight and fair goers will be first in line to benefit from their protection. "We have police officers that are on reserve from other forces that make up the compliment of detail so really we just supplemented the state patrol with our sworn officers as well and they work in partnership to keep the safety of the grounds," said Iowa State Fair CEO Gary Slater.
Instead of hiring security for the Iowa State Fair to work alongside Iowa State Patrol troopers and Des Moines police like in years past, the fair has launched their own Iowa State Fair Police Department. Six sworn-in officers are patrolling the fairgrounds year round with the Iowa State Patrol taking the lead during the ten days of the fair. Slater says the decision is just a proactive approach for fair lovers. "There wasn't any incident that brought the change. I think it was just the fact of what is going on in the world today and how to make an event like the Iowa State Fair as safe as possible. That seemed like the next step to do."
The Iowa State Fair police will be able to make arrests just like Des Moines police and the Iowa State Patrol. It will cut down on response times on the fairgrounds when the state fair is over and the other agencies are no longer around.