Security changes at Florida State Fair - WFLA News Channel 8

Security changes at Florida State Fair

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The 2014 Florida State Fair. The 2014 Florida State Fair.
The 2014 Florida State Fair. The 2014 Florida State Fair.
The 2014 Florida State Fair. The 2014 Florida State Fair.
The 2014 Florida State Fair. The 2014 Florida State Fair.
Security at the 2014 Florida State Fair. Security at the 2014 Florida State Fair.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

One week after fights, vandalism and theft took over the midway at the Florida State Fair, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is taking precautions to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"Obviously we feel an obligation to reassure the public. I think the important thing to point out is that there have been zero arrests and zero ejections since Friday night," said Colonel Jim Previtara with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

On the opening Friday at the Fair, nearly 100 teens were ejected after the problems erupted. Innocent bystanders say they were overrun and attacked as hundreds of teens ran wild on the midway. Vendors say teens ransacked their booths and openly stole goods.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, more deputies were brought in from the surrounding area to deal with the issues as soon as they started seeing trouble, but even with the extra help, deputies had more on their hands than they could handle that night.

This Friday isn't expected to be as difficult, but according to the sheriff's office, they are prepared for anything.

Colonel Previtara says they've brought in additional deputies and have installed a high definition camera system to monitor trouble at the fair.

"We'll be able to look at large areas of the midway and we'll be able to zoom in on specific areas when there is any potential problem," said Previtara.

Sheriff's deputies will also be under a modified policy to deal with troublemakers.

"I'll tell you the difference between this week and last week is, Sheriff Gee has always been about alternatives to arrests for juveniles. This week, we're going to arrest. If you engage in disorderly conduct and you come out here to cause a disruption, we're going to arrest early and we are going to arrest often," said Previtara.

The Florida State Fair has also instituted new policies as a result of the problems on the opening Friday. Anyone entering with a student ticket must be accompanied by an adult who is age 18 or older after 7:00 p.m.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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