Expect metal detectors, tighter security at Indiana State Fair

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Friday morning, the gates of the Indiana State Fair will open, letting in the first of what could be almost a million guests this year. Officials say everyone should come out expecting to have a good time. To make that happen, we’re learning more about the massive safety and security precautions that are being taken to ensure safety.

The most noticeable addition will be metal detectors at every gate. For the first time, everyone coming into the fair will go through a stand-up metal detector. Officials say this is just one more way of keeping everyone safe. Additionally, inspectors from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security were inspecting rides for safety on Thursday morning.

“We’re checking the whole ride out,” said ISDH inspector Tom Hendricks.

They’re looking for any potential problem; everything from broken bolts to worn out wiring. Everything mechanical is checked, even if it’s passed a recent inspection.

“If it’s here at the State Fair, it will be re-checked again, even though it was inspected just last month,” said Matthew Cronley with IDHS.

“[The rides] are safe as can be,” said Hendricks, “I’d put my grandkids on them.”

More than 900,000 people showed up last year to the fair, and officials say this year’s number could be even higher.

“Safety is our top priority, and we are also a leader in the industry,” said Fair spokeswoman Sharon Smith, “but we’re also following very standard practices when it comes to large events.”

That includes the addition of those metal detectors at every entrance. State fair officials say they’re not sure what to expect in terms of lines, but say they’re ready for anything.

“We will have troopers in close proximity to those gates to monitor that flow of people coming in,” said Indiana State Police Sergeant Stephen Wheeles. ISP will have more than 200 troopers on site, with support from IMPD and hopefully your eyes and ears too.

“It takes a lot of people, the normal public, telling us what we need to know to make sure everyone is safe,” said Wheeles.

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