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Dozens More Security Cameras Installed For TCSO Deputies Providing Tulsa State Fair Security

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Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputies will be monitoring dozens more security cameras at this year’s Tulsa State Fair.

The number of cameras this year is around 270, up from about 200 at the last fair in 2019. 

Sheriff Vic Regalado said deputies will be able to see virtually every part of the fair indoors or out with the high-resolution cameras.

"That's a good thing, you know, especially when you start talking about lost children. We can go back on some of these cameras and hopefully track a child down or — see trouble spots. If we see a fight start to break out, we can direct our deputies there much more effectively than without them," Regalado said.

TCSO says deputies got 101 lost children back to their families during the 2019 fair. Regalado said families will get separated during the 11-day event, so parents should talk to their kids about what to do if they get lost, like asking a deputy for help.

Parents are encouraged to take a picture of their kids on their phone before going into the fair, and TCSO will once again be handing out wristbands for kids that parents can write their cell phone numbers on. Those wristbands are available at the agency's command post near the fair entrance on the east side of Expo Square and at their booth on the upper level.

Deputies will escort lost children to an area on the east end of the midway, near Central Park Hall.

While there are fewer vendors at the 2021 fair than there were in 2019, Regalado expects the fairgrounds will be packed.

"I think we will see an increase in the crowd, which will be significant. I think that we potentially may have problems with the fact that there is not the shuttle ride happening. So, that means more cars are going to be parked in and around the fair, which invites the criminal element, of course," Regalado said.

Park-and-ride buses to the fair are not running this year. Regalado recommends people who drive to the fair lock their cars and put valuables in the trunk.

Full-time and volunteer deputies are on duty within the fairgrounds, with 30 on duty during weekdays and 50 during weekends. Tulsa Police will handle calls outside of the fair.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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