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Security top of mind for OSHP for county, state fairs

In the wake of the July 4 shooting in Highland Park, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is urging people to see something, say something.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Highway Patrol won't reveal what changes, if any, they're making to its security detail for the upcoming Ohio State Fair, only to say there will be a large visible presence of troopers patrolling the state fairgrounds.

"Everywhere that you look while you're at the fair, we want to make sure that you have a trooper that you can see. Someone that you can run to or go over to," said Lieutenant Nathan Davis.

Fairgoers need to remember that their bags will be searched and they must pass through a metal detector in order to enter the fair.

The patrol is expecting large crowds at the fair when it opens later this month. It was closed to the public for the past two years because of COVID.

Because of changes in state law regarding the carrying of weapons the patrol has a message for those who plan to carry.

"If you bring weapons in just know that firearms are not permitted inside of any of the buildings or inside any of the liquor permitted establishments on the ground," said Lt. Davis.

Tuesday was the second day of the Marion County Fair.  The last thing fairgoers want to think about is another mass shooting like the one in Highland Park on Monday.

"I try not to worry about it. You're really not safe anywhere," said Steven Unterreiner of Marion County.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office said it has more deputies working the fair this year than last year, but that was planned before the Highland Park shooting.

Deputies said they are on the lookout for people trying to sneak a weapon inside.

"With our folks around here, we are looking at pockets, we are looking at waistlines to make sure no weapons are sneaking passed. If we see something in a bag and we want take a peek and they refuse it may be a circumstance and they refuse that they kindly leave," said Captain Ryan Zempter of the Marion County Sheriff's Department.

Law enforcement is urging fairgoers to be on the lookout for anything suspicious and don't be afraid to tell an officer. OSHP said safety is a shared responsibility.

"it never hurts to bring something to the attention of the trooper whether it's of importance or whether it doesn't mean anything or not it's better to be on the safe side than not to," said Lt. Davis.

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