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Authorities encourage state fairgoers to report suspicious behavior

DES MOINES – The Iowa State Fair is one of Iowa’s most iconic and long-standing traditions. As hundreds of thousands of visitors step onto the fairgrounds, they’ll be greeted by familiar sights and sounds, all in a clean and safe environment. This year fairgoers are encouraged to help maintain the safety of this great event by reporting any suspicious activity they observe. Remember: “If You See Something, Say Something™.”

Director Jim Saunders of Public Safety’s Division of Intelligence said, “’If You See Something, Say Something™’ is a national campaign to remind citizens that maintaining safety is a community effort. The more information officers have, the better prepared they are to identify and prevent emerging threats. So share what you know. Iowans should follow their instincts. While there is no information to indicate any threats to the State Fair, it is important that if you see something that looks suspicious, odd or out of place, call and report it.”

The Iowa State Fairgrounds are secured every year by Des Moines Police Department and local security professionals in coordination with the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS). This year DPS is adding additional manpower in the form of undercover agents. These officers work to discretely observe and detect suspicious activity and keep the site safe from all threats. Please don’t hesitate to talk to a uniformed Trooper if you have a concern or would like to report something suspicious. Additionally, you can call and report suspicious activity to the on-site dispatch center at 515-263-9347.

In addition to extra staff, all bags will be subject to search at the gates and Grandstand entrances. “Fairgoer safety is our top priority at the Iowa State Fair,” Iowa State Fair CEO/Manager Gary Slater said. “Our partnership with the Department of Public Safety and the ‘If You See Something, Say Something™’ campaign will help keep our Fair guests aware of their surroundings and safe.”

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