Beginning this weekend, 80 acres of games, rides, and run will be under the watchful eye of Lake County Sheriff’s deputies as the Lake County Fair gets underway in Crown Point.
Security is always a priority at the event, which draws over 300,000 people per day, but in the aftermath of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in California earlier this week that left three people dead, officials are evaluating their security protocols ahead of the big event in Indiana.
“There’s always room for improvement, and when you look at those incidents, you look at the plans we’re making here, and making sure we’ve covered all bases of safety,” Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said.
A mobile command center will be on site for the event, as law enforcement will have continuous surveillance of about a dozen different fairground locations, an increase from last year.
The high-tech cameras will give officials a high-definition view, allowing officers to target and zoom in on anything that appears suspicious.
At least 250,000 people are expected to attend the 10-day fair, a huge draw for the county since its inception in 1852.
“I’ve been coming to the fair since I was a little kid, and I have memories of that and I hope that people will create memories that they can take back and re-live,” Fair Board President Tom Lump said.
To help make sure that fair-goers have a safe environment in which to make those memories, there will be more patrol officers for both outer and inner perimeters at the fair, watching not just for criminal activity but for situations like weather that could prompt an evacuation of the area.
“See something, say something,” Sheriff Martinez said. “We’ll have officers throughout the fairgrounds, and you can approach any of them if you have concerns or questions.”
The fair runs from Aug. 2 to the 11th at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point.