Random screening at Erie County Fair

Aug 7, 2013

The Erie County Fair opens today at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. The fair is the third largest county fair in the United States and often draws up to one million people. But with increased concerns of domestic terrorism in the wake of this past spring's Boston bombings, WBFO's Eileen Buckley says security will be taken up a notch this year.

Erie County Fair
Credit Photo from Erie County Fairgrounds Website

"We're going to the similar level of security we have had in the past, however, we are going to add a random screening process," said Scott Ritchie, director of security at the Erie County Fair.

These new security measures for the screening process will be similar to other major sporting events or large venues that the public attends. Ritchie said the new steps are designed to "deter terrorism." 

If you go to the fair, your bags, purses and backpacks could be checked. 

"It's going to be a random process," said Ritchie. "The screening process will just be little extra measures for the folks that come to the fairgrounds with their families can have a sense of security that parcels and packages have been checked and that there's no dangerous items," said Ritchie.

Other items that could be checked include strollers, diaper bags, and coolers. But fairgoers who don't have items will be allowed to quickly move through a separate line.

The Fair security works along with the Erie County Sheriff's, Hamburg Police, and State Police. This year marks the 174th Fair, and is the second longest running fair in the U.S. The fair has never experienced any type of terrorist scare, but the new safety measures are considered "best practices" for large events. 

This year's fair runs August 7 through August 18.