Las Vegas shooting echoes all the way to the fair

Event Security at the Fryeburg Fair

FRYEBURG, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — At the Fryeburg Fair, Lisa and Kristin, mother and daughter from Lewiston, had enjoyed a beautiful October day. Both said they were shocked by the killings in Las Vegas. Kristin said she had visited there and knows the spot where it happened.

But the fact of a terrible attack at a packed outdoor concert in Las Vegas wasn't about to scare them away from Maine's biggest outdoor event.

"You can't let them take away your enjoyment in life," the women said.

The Las Vegas attack has the attention of everyone in law enforcement, including those at the Fryeburg Fair. There are days when there are more people at The fair than the population of most Maine towns.Fair directors say that on Sunday they sold 23,000 tickets, and said Monday seemed equally busy. The fair's police chief said the Las Vegas shooting has been a harsh reminder of a constant need to focus on keeping all those people safe.

"It makes everyone hyper-vigilant as to what can happen anywhere," said Ray LaFrance, the fair Public Safety superintendent.

LaFrance said the fair has 30 armed police officers, and 100 other security people, and plans for a wide range of potential safety and security problems. Fair president Roy Andrews said security has always been a prime concern, but that Las Vegas is a harsh reminder.

"We’re very concerned about our people here, our guests," he said.

Andrews said fair staff and volunteers, as well as fair-goers, were talking about the shootings.

"Just what an awful thing it was and could happen anywhere in the country'" said Andrews.

He added that it's possible an attack could even happen at the fair, despite all their precautions.

Maine has several outdoor venues and events that attract large crowds. including the Waterfront Concerts in Bangor.

A Bangor Police spokesman said they have security measures for those concerts that the public sees, but also a number of security precautions the public does not see. He said in the wake of this year's attack outside a concert hall in London, the Waterfront concerts began using metal detectors to search people entering the concerts, but said that is done by promoters, nog by police.

In Rockland,  Maine Lobster Festival organizers said in August there were added security steps gnus year following incidents in England and France shred cars rammed into crowds.

In Fryeburg, Ray  LaFrance said they take all the safety steps they can, but agreed that the Las Vegas attacks show bad things can still happen.

"You always worry about  it," he said' then added:

"It's like what happened in Paris or everywhere else. If you stop coming  to the fairs or start getting too afraid the terrorists have won."

He said, however, that all law enforcement, including the fair's police force, will be taking a fresh look at their security measures for public events, because of the killings in Las Vegas.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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