Security, safety major priorities for Riverside County Fair

Security safety major priorities-for Riverside County Fair

INDIO, Calif. - The Riverside County Fair and Date Festival starts Friday. From ride inspections to having mixture of private security and deputies on the grounds, safety is a top priority.

For the past two weeks, state inspectors as well as inspectors with the ride company Butler Amusements have been testing the rides to make sure they are safe.

"There is about four different types of non-destructive tests to test the metal, metal fatigue make sure there is no cracks in the metal," said Lance Moyer, C.O.O. of Butler Amusements.

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According to records from Cal OSHA, rides operated by Butler Amusements had 15 accidents statewide between 2007 and 2016. The most recent accident at the Riverside County Fair happened in 2014 when a mount for a motorcycle ride broke, resulting in two people suffering minor injuries.

There was also an accident in 2007 where a man was injured when the vehicle he was riding in derailed from its tracks and stopped abruptly.

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Security for the fair is also a top priority. People can expect to see a mixture of private security and Riverside County Sheriff's deputies.

"We keep constant patrols throughout the area. We have fixed posts monitoring and surveillance going on we have undercover and we bring in the gang task force," said Ron Dye, security director for the Riverside County Fair.

In light of recent mass shootings, everyone working at the fair will be on lookout for any suspicious behavior.

"We actually studied what occurred in Las Vegas we have implemented a few measures here, very minor ones that we can do just to heighten the awareness of security," Dye said.

Last year a man was stabbed at the fair. According to investigators the stabbing was gang-related.

"Within seconds security guards had taken several people to the ground, within about 15 - 20 seconds sheriff's deputies were on scene and we had EMS here in under a minute," Dye said.

Investigators say the knife was slipped under the fence to avoid the metal detectors. There will be more people on patrol around the perimeter to avoid the same problem.

People attending the fair will have to go through a metal detector when they arrive. If they have anything on them that could possibly be a weapon, including a selfie stick, they’ll have to take it back to their car or surrender it to deputies.

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