The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

August 21, 2013

New security measures to greet visitors at the Bloomsburg Fair

By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item

— BLOOMSBURG - In one month, thousands of people will flock to the region for the annual Bloomsburg Fair and this year, after  the recent tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Boston Marathon, security will be tightened up, according to a fair official.

Backpacks and large handbags will be subject to search, though the logistics of the searches is still being worked out, said Bill Barratt, the superintendent of police and parking at the fair. There will also be an increased security presence at the event.

The new measures came about following several recent national tragedies which put the public on high alert, Barrett said. With them in mind, Barrett brought up ideas and reccommendations from a 2008 security audit for implimentation.

"They reccommended certain things for me to do and some things I could do, some things I couldn't," he said. "But now, I took (the report) to the board because of what's been going on."

Barrett said details of how the bag searches will be implemented are still being worked out, but he hopes to keep the lines into the fair, which is attended by hundreds of thousands of people per year, flowing smoothly.

"It's not going to be an easy thing to do," he said. "If (we) can't search everybody, we might go to doing a random search until we can work it out for following year."

All of these actions and planning have one goal in mind: to make the fair safer for everyone involved, he said.

"We just want to make it safer for fairgoers and concessionaires," he said.

"We've got to do what we can."