No security shortage at State Fair in spite of DPD staffing issues

State Fair organizers have found a way to maintain a strong police presence in spite of a staffing shortage at the Dallas Police Department.

Up to 300 officers work the state fair, according to the Dallas Police Association, but this year, the fair is paying some officers to work on their days off from the city, to make up for short staffing at the department.

Squad cars of all kinds lined the outside of the State Fair grounds and there are metal detectors at the entrances for the first time.

Deputy Chief William Humphrey assures there is no shortage of police presence, “That expedites the process. It makes it easier on the fairgoers.”

There are also more emergency medical stations to respond to calls.

Police say the most common call they get at the fair is for children who are lost, “We just had a lady come and she said her 5-year-old child was missing,” said gate supervisor, Leslie Oelke.

Saturday, the fair had its first missing child of the year even if for only minutes. Officer Scott Ansley was able to reunite the panicked mother to her missing kindergartener quickly.

“Oh yeah, nothing but smiles after I put the description on the radio and then she heard, 'You found my kid!' That's a good feeling,” he said.

The mother gave the child's description of Officer Ansley at Gate 6. A fair worker found the child, and Oelke connected the mom and child at Gate 5.

That is very, very helpful if you take a picture of the child before you come to the fair with the clothing that they have on, and if you'll wear one of these,” said Oelke.

Dallas Police say the best thing you can do for your child at the fair is to give them this bracelet. You put your information on the inside, so it is concealed. If your child is lost, they can contact you without hesitation.

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