Security a priority at the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo

Security a priority at the Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo »Play Video
BENTON COUNTY, Wash. - Each year the fair draws huge crowds.
Including those up to no good.

Fair goer Jennifer Hall said, "You come here to have fun, you don't come here to worry about kids getting shot at or crime and all that. You're here to take your kids to have a wonderful day and it's very important that they're safe."

This is only the second year Jennifer Hall has brought her daughters to the fair. Her 3-year old twins are finally out of strollers and walking on their own. Jennifer and her family are keeping a watchful eye on crowd activity.

So is the Benton-Franklin Fair and Rodeo. It's why security is a top priority. Not only are officers from around the Tri-Cities patrolling. fair organizers use a private firm as well. They take their orders direct from fair management. The off-duty officers can go beyond what the police can do in some case.

"Asking people to remove gang colors when they're coming in the gate, so those kinda things, those aren't the roles of the police department, but our policy is zero tolerance on people with obvious gang signs," said Lori Lancaster, fair organizer.

You'll see guards at the gate, riding bicycles or golf carts through the crowd. They wear different uniforms, including some dressed as cowboys.

All guards are fully-equipped with the gear an on-duty officer has, including guns. They even work the grounds overnight. They locking down buildings, watching over livestock, making sure no one lingers.

Jennifer said, "I'm glad they have these elements in place to protect our kids as well as every body else."

Making this event the highlight of everyone's year.

Parents can take comfort in knowing the fair has an active plan for kids who get separated from their family. There's a lost child tent located by security and police headquarters on the fair grounds.

An 'Amber Alert' style announcement can be made over loud speakers.

An amber alert text message could also go out just like the ones we got when Hannah Anderson went missing.