LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – People who take a trip down to the Arkansas State Fair this year may notice an increase in security. This is the first year the fair started on a Thursday. It is also the first year the fair will have every person walk through a metal detector.
Lt. Steven McClanahan with the Little Rock Police Department said the increased security is in response to the uptick in crime in Little Rock in the beginning of the year.
"On the weekends when we're expecting larger crowds, we will have our mounted patrol out and our helicopter up," McClanahan said.
McClanahan said the department is not in charge of the metal detectors. It is being run by state fair grounds.
“No weapons allowed here at the state fair," he said.
McClanahan said although crime has decreased in the past month, the department still wants to have a heavy police presence.
"On the weekends we'll have in excess a hundred officers. During the week it won't be quite as many. 50 to 60 probably," he said.
McClanahan said the department will also be heavily patrolling outside the gates because in recent years problems have taken place in the parking lot.
He said he wants to remind people to hide their personal belongings in the car, or to just leave them at home.
"We're encouraging people to put them in their trunk and number 2 make sure their doors are locked because we've seen a lot of cars that have been broken into that have been left unlocked," McClanahan said.
The Little Rock Police Department has the heaviest presence at the state fair but it is also working with state police, Arkansas Highway Police and the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office.
The State Fair runs through Oct. 22.