Fair presents challenges for local law enforcement


This year’s Delaware County Fair will mark the first time the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office will use bicycle units during patrols at the fairgrounds.

Capt. Scott Vance said Friday that the sheriff’s office will be handling patrols on the fairgrounds during the week and said the sheriff’s office will deploy the new bike unit for the first time.

During the summer, three deputies from the sheriff’s office participated in a police bike training course and earned certification. Vance said the bicycle deputies have more mobility and versatility than a deputy on foot.

Vance said the bike unit will be supported by the City of Delaware Police Department’s bicycle unit, if the need arises.

Generally, Vance said the day of the fair will determine how many deputies will be on patrol, with Jug Day being the most active.

“The amount of staff is based on previous year’s experience,” Vance said.

Vance said the main challenge of patrolling during the fair is navigating the crowds of people in attendance. He explained that the things deputies need to keep an eye out for already happen in the county, but during the fair, they occur in an extremely localized area.

“It’s not dissimilar from what goes on around the county campgrounds,” Vance said. “The challenges aren’t necessarily different, they are just condensed.”

Vance added the sheriff’s office will be using the mobile command center as a headquarters during the fair.

Delaware Police Capt. Adam Moore said Thursday that the fairgrounds is unique because it’s a county property, but portions of it are inside the City of Delaware’s boundaries.

“The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement for the fairgrounds throughout the week, but we provide support and assistance,” Moore said. “Where we also get involved is all of the roadways outside the fairgrounds are inside the city.”

Moore said one of the biggest jobs for the police department during the fair is getting people to and from the fairgrounds safely and efficiently.

“I think the challenge for folks from Delaware is that normal traffic patterns will change, certainly on Thursday,” Moore said. “Some roads may be closed or one-ways. From a visitor standpoint, it can be a challenge not knowing where to go or how to get there.”

Moore said the City of Delaware Public Works department will put up signs throughout the city to help visitors get to the fairgrounds.

“If you are going to be up around the fair, exercise a little more patience,” Moore said. “Plan for a little extra time.”

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@delgazette.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.