DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa State Fair will be back in just two weeks, and fairgoers will notice a pretty big change when they walk through the main gates this year.
For the first time ever, walk-through metal detectors will be placed at all nine main gates for enhanced security. In past years, handheld metal detectors were used along with bag searches.
An additional $300,000 to $400,000 added to this year's budget for safety makes this possible. Besides the metal detectors, the funds will be spent on extra officers as well.
While see-through bags aren't required, law enforcement does have the right to search through any bag brought to the fair. Things like knives, firearms, clubs, mace, Tasers and fireworks are what officers will be searching for.
More information on what's prohibited from the fair can be found by clicking/tapping this link.
“We’ve tried to think of all the possible contingencies. Obviously, you don’t want to give out too much of what your plan is because it could be used against you. I just want the people to know that it’s going to be a safe state fair," explained Randy Jones, commander of the Iowa State Fair Police Department.
Jones said people have tried to bring in weapons before. As a reminder, you cannot bring in knives with a blade longer than three inches, firearms, swords, clubs, mace, or tasers.
What is considered a weapon can be found in the Iowa Code.