It’s the first day of the Tulsa State Fair and dozens of Tulsa County Deputies and Tulsa Police are patrolling the fairgrounds and surrounding areas; this comes after they spent time training on property last week.
There are 26 deputies assigned to the fair and they bring in an additional 15 weekday evenings; on the weekends, an additional 30 deputies come out to help at the fairgrounds. Many of them do this event year in and year out.
“We have our school resource officers, we have our intelligence deputy providing us with anything that’s going on in the schools or out in the communities that may have done sort of effect of the fair,” said Capt. Mike Moore.
Deputies expect more than a million people to attend the fair this year. In the evenings, their main focus is patrolling the Midway, where all the rides, games and entertainment are.
Capt. Mike Moore said the forecast is probably the best we’ve had in a decade and believes that’ll attract even more people.
You can barely turn a corner without seeing a Tulsa County Deputy.
“Manpower. We will have a good number of deputies out here, so the goal is when you’re walking and you make it 30, 40, 50 feet you want to be able to see us because we’re just constantly moving, walking visiting with people, answering questions,” said a Tulsa Co. Deputy.
“Looking for you know suspicious behavior; people grouping up; people carrying bags and even how they hold themselves and certain mannerisms if they have something on them that they’re not supposed to have on them. Weapons for instance. Unless you’re trained to carry a weapon for a living most people can’t do it very subtly,” said Capt. Mike Moore.
“New and interesting people out here but I haven’t seen any rascals running around,” said Ken Harris.
“Super clean. There’s lots of staff. I mean it doesn’t feel unsafe,” said Kristie Bradley. “I still wouldn’t send my kids out.”
They’ve got hundreds to keep an eye on everyone.
“We’re utilizing every single camera the expo has installed. Over 300 cameras. Then we’ve placed some camera pods, the sheriff’s office has, in and around some of our more heavily trafficked areas,” said Capt. Moore. “We can program you know 5’7”, wearing a red shirt and the AI technology will start picking out every single child or person matching that description so we can hopefully quickly identify and reunite them with their families.”
The sheriff’s office is also using technology to pinpoint calls and plot incidents.
“We’re doing a pilot project with AT&T RapidSOS and CRG Mapping. AT&T FirstNet is providing the Network obviously for cameras and some of the other pieces but then they’ve also provided us a cash of cellular devices that are for first responders. And then RapidSOS is obviously the 911 piece and they plot calls before we actually answer the telephone and provide us critical data and pin point accuracy and mapping and the CRG mapping has provided a fair map for us and we’re able to plot incidents and provide gridded location data with real time access. And then all of those devices are being tracked so I know what responder is the closest to the incident that’s plotted in a gridded map. So, for instance, if we had an incident at K6 I could see and go to a camera pod that’s plotted to try and zoom in, in real time and then see which responder is out in the field and closest to that incident as well,” said Ken Stewart, TCSO 911 Communications Director.
Deputies also remind everyone you are not allowed to bring your guns to the fair.
“This is according to Oklahoma state law that during the Tulsa state fair the Tulsa county fairgrounds is a gun free zone; that means no open carry. No concealed carry. Leave your gun at home. Don’t bring your gun and leave it in the car,” said Capt. Moore.
Capt. Moore said it’s important for fairgoers to do their part and watch out for themselves and others. He said it’s best to leave important things at home and remember to lock your car doors.