Tulsa County Sheriffs Will Have Strong Presence At Tulsa State Fair
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa State Fair kicks off Thursday and the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is making sure your family stays safe.
The Sheriff's Office will have a strong presence at the fair over the next 11 days at the fairgrounds where patrols have already started.
As vendors put those finishing touches on their booths, Tulsa County Sheriff's deputies are keeping a close eye on the midway.
"When we're patrolling, we're just looking for people, regardless of who they are, who appear to have intentions other than enjoying the fair," said TCSO Captain Ernie Mendenhall.
Mendenhall said the majority of fairgoers are looking for fun, not trouble.
Still, the sheriff's office will have between 20 and 60 deputies on patrol to keep the fair safe.
"The goal with the sheriff's office is to provide as safe a fair as possible," said Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado.
In the past, reserve deputies have been a big help.
But since the sheriff's office has changed it reserve program requirements, there will only be one or two reserves eligible to patrol.
"We do have to make some adjustments, obviously, but we will not sacrifice our efforts on the streets, nor will we cut back on security here," Regalado said. "They're both extremely important, we'll just have to be resourceful."
Regalado said on weekdays they'll have as many as 20 to 30 deputies at the fair. On the busier weekends at the fair, there could be up to 60 deputies on patrol.
The sheriff said they're on alert and prepared just in case there's any civil unrest connected to the police shooting of Terence Crutcher, although he said he doesn't expect any issues.
"There's always that concern," Regalado said. "Public safety is our number one priority, especially here at the fair because of the amount of people that will be attending so we do have to make plans and be ready in the event something like that happens."
The sheriff's department is also reminding people about the wristbands they make available for parents to put on their children.
Parents can pick them at their booth or substations and parents write their names and phone numbers on the back, so if a child gets lost, deputies can help reunite children and parents quickly.
The TCSO has a list of Tulsa State Fair safety tips on the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office website.