ST. PAUL (WCCO) — In just two days, the Minnesota State Fair gates open to the public. But new security measures are already in place for a lot of the vendors who have been setting up this week.
Vendors and the people who work for them have already gone through security sweeps Tuesday night, and will be subject to security sweeps throughout the course of the fair.
“After 8 o’clock (a.m.), all cars have to be off the grounds,” said Minnesota State Fair Police Chief Art Blakey. “If they aren’t off the grounds by 8 o’clock, they will be towed.”
Vehicles coming in and out of the fairgrounds — some carrying livestock and supplies — will also be checked.
“All the trucks are searched. The pick-up trucks, the cattle trucks, all those kinds of trucks are searched,” Blakey said.
Extra officers will be on hand to keep the fairgrounds safe. K-9 officers will also be more visible then in years past.
“We’ll have an officer every 10 feet here at the fairgrounds,” Officer Brook Blakey said. “We have over 200 police officers on each of our shifts and we’re here to just make it a safe place.”
Art Blakey adds that extra officers and searches are necessary.
“After the things that have been happening in our country in the last year, year-and-a-half, this is our precaution,” Art Blakey said.
Many extra officers will be dressed as fairgoers.
“The officers are well-trained in spotting some packages that don’t look right,” Art Blakey said.
Backpacks are allowed in and will not be randomly searched, but police say to look and report anything suspicious.