The Iowa State Patrol is reporting an increase in the number of arrests at this year’s Iowa State Fair. The patrol boosted its visibility on the fairgrounds and Des Moines Police added officers around the outlying neighborhood after a couple of violent incidents at last year’s fair.
Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Scott Bright says arrests are probably up this year because of the additional law enforcement presence.
Bright says 40 people were arrested at the fair last Friday, 32 were taken into custody on Saturday, eight went to jail on Sunday and 11 were arrested Monday.
Most of the arrests have involved public intoxication or underage drinking. “It’s pretty obvious when somebody’s drank too much, they’re usually walking down the main concourse stumbling,” Bright said. “It’s one of our concerns…we want to take care of that individual and get them off the property, so they don’t cause any danger to themselves or danger to the people who are trying to enjoy the fair.”
Bright says the patrol has around 10 troopers wandering the fairgrounds during the day, while 30 or more troopers are on duty at night. That’s in addition to the fair police. Both agencies are being aided by more than a dozen surveillance cameras.
“(The cameras) are stationed at different areas of the fairgrounds. We have issues on the grand (concourse) where there’s a lot of people. The cameras have played a part where we can zoom in, see what’s taking place and scan over the crowd. So they have helped out quite a bit this year,” Bright said.
The 2011 Iowa State Fair ends this Sunday.