Fair to add metal detectors for safety

Citing safety reasons, the North Dakota State Fair plans to screen visitors for weapons during future fairs.

The Ward County Commission on Tuesday approved a request from Kelly Haugan, Ward County Emergency Management director, and Craig Rudland, State Fair general manager, to provide the political subdivision participation necessary to apply for a Homeland Security grant to purchase metal detectors for the fairground entrances. The cost is about $264,000.

“We want to try to do what we can to protect and keep people safe,” Rudland said.

He said the Department of Homeland Security did an assessment of the fairgrounds and locations where metal detectors could be placed. The fair also ran field tests to get a sense of how the detectors work.

Rudland said the open-gate detector systems are used at a number of major events nationally. They don’t slow foot traffic, he said. They are designed to move between 2,000 and 3,000 people an hour. The detector picks up large metal items but not small items such as keys, belt buckles or cell phones.

“We’re going to utilize and put these metal detectors to work this year. We have rented from the company,” Rudland said. “But, owning them would be a lot more cost effective going through the years.”

He added the metal detectors would be available for use by other groups that utilize the fairground or its facilities throughout the year.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today