In an effort to strengthen overnight security efforts, the Lorain County Fair board has approved the hiring of two additional officers.
The new security will be in addition to the four night watchmen already on-site from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., with one looking after the front gate, one in the substation to answer phone calls, and the other two patrolling the rest of the fairgrounds.
Jim Zelenka, who provides his own night security services to the fair independent of the police, was also approved to be brought back for this year.
Board members said a more strict night security schedule and checklist needs to be implemented along with the new help.
“There really is no night patrol schedule and that is our fault,” said board member Don Crawford. “We don’t tell them what we want, we just tell them to be here.”
The cost for the extra officers will be approximately $2,600 but it’s a price that the board said could quickly pay for itself.
“One spraypainted wall avoided and we save that money,” said board member Jed Lamb.
According to board member Kim Meyers, a vandalism case was just settled in which two juveniles spraypainted a food booth on the fairgrounds last year. He said the incident was not the reason to bring on extra security, though.
“I think that every year we’re concerned about what goes on at night when the fair closes,” he said. “People camp and use the showers so there’s ways that they can legitimately come into the fair at night. We just thought it’d be a good idea to increase security because of past thefts from vendors and because of how easy it is to get into a tent.”
The board also recalled an incident where a man was found inside the spa tent taking a bath at night in recent years.
“We do have vendors that have spas set up that people can look at,” Meyers said. “Some of them are functional with water in them so it’s never a bad idea to have an extra set of eyes looking after them at night.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise The Lorain County Fair board voted July 12 to hire two new security officers and bring back one who’s served in past years.