Corn dogs, carnival rides, exhibits and deep-fried everything—who doesn’t enjoy a day out at the fair? Soon crowds will swarm state fair grounds and if past years are any indication, the turn-out will continue to break attendance records. The main challenge in policing large fairs is the sheer number of security personnel it requires and the strain it puts on fair budgets to pay extra off-duty officers the overtime needed to do so.
Although violent crime at fairgrounds is generally very low, officers have their hands full investigating everything from property theft to searching for missing children. Their duties also include directing traffic, dispatching emergency health care and responding to disturbances that can erupt anywhere on a moment’s notice. While officers move freely among visitors and communicate with each other constantly, they can’t be everywhere at once.
Recognizing how useful a camera trailer might be in such a setting, officials decided to set up a Commander 3400 at the Minnesota State Fair and were very pleased with the results. Not only did it allow surveillance cameras to be stationed where before it was not possible, the trailer’s extended mast allowed security to remotely view and pan the area below with clear visibility even late into the night.