By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OKLAHOMA – It's the final weekend of the Tulsa State Fair.
In all the chaos of fair, it's not hard for a small child to get separated from their parents. It's not uncommon either and the Tulsa County Sheriff's office routinely helps reunite separated families.
"We consider ourselves pros and finding these kids out here at the fairgrounds, we've done it for so many years," said Sergeant Shannon Clark, Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.
For families, keeping up with their children is a constant concern.
"Having fun, my eyes are always on them," said Tracy Tucker, an Owasso parent. "I don't like them wondering off, or us meeting at different rides, we all stay together."
The Tuckers have a plan before they come in the gate.
"Usually when we come in we'll find a flag pole or a special ride where they'll meet at but now we have cell phones so that easier to keep up with them," Tucker said.
Sergeant Clark said having a plan is essential. He encourages families to talk about what they would do.
"Tell your child if we get separated they need to stand right there, don't run off, find a uniformed police officer, report it, find a deputy sheriff," he said.
Some families make sure they never get separated, but a leash can be cumbersome in a crowd.
While all of the people and the noise and rides might make it seem easy to get lost, the Sheriff's office says deputies are all over the fair, and the gates, watching for children without supervision.
"It's always been a practice of the Sheriff's office that no deputy goes home until the last child is reunited with their families," Clark said. "And so as deputies wanting to go home we're working to find families and then we can call it a night and everybody has had fun."
Deputies encourage parents with small children to get their kids a wrist band with a name and phone number on it, so if deputies find a child without a parent, they'll know how to get in touch. Free wristbands are available from the Sheriff's Office inside the QuikTrip center at the fairgrounds.
Deputies have reunited more than 50 children so far, usually just in a few minutes, but some after the midway closed down for the night.