DES MOINES, Iowa — With the start of the Iowa State Fair less than 24 hours away, thousands will flock to the fairgrounds to enjoy the many activities, snacks and thrills there.
The Des Moines Police Department says they are working diligently to make it a safe fair from start to finish, especially with such a large crowd incoming.
"You know, the fair has always been one of the crown jewels of this city. So it's something that we take very seriously when we start taking into security considerations," said DMPD Sgt. Paul Parizek.
Police say that shootings at large gatherings across the country, like the one at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, could understandably have fairgoers airing on the side of caution.
"We keep our finger on the pulse of things that are happening around the nation. The security there is one of the utmost priorities of the fair board," Parizek said. "And I think that having the collaboration of the state fair police, the state fair patrol and the Des Moines Police Department, every year gets a little bit tighter, a little bit better."
This year's new technology allows security to have their eyes and ears focused on the fairgrounds.
"There's new technologies that we use to stay on top of what people are talking about, are there threats out there? The surveillance piece is something that's become huge over the past few years so that we can monitor people that might be problematic," he said.
But the department's safety plans don't end when the fair does.
"The day after the fair ends this year, we'll start planning for 2023. So it's something that's very well thought out," Parizek said. "And the goal is to find that balance of atmosphere, accessibility and security and I think we've nailed it."
The DMPD will be working with the fair police so there will be double the protection again this year. If you see any strange activity, do not hesitate to contact either of those departments.
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