The importance of bag checks and added security at big events


Three people were killed and 11 were injured at a video-game event in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday.

This has safety on the minds of many.

The fairgrounds in Minot is home to some of the biggest events in North Dakota, like the state fair, concerts, expos, and Høstfest coming up next month.
There’s a strict no firearms or weapons policy, but there are other efforts involved to keep everyone safe.

Ward County Sheriff Bob Barnard said, “If you see something, say something.”
That’s something we can all do.

“We all assume here in North Dakota that everybody’s a ‘good guy,'” said Barnard, “but we can’t be complacent and we have to know that something bad could happen.”

Security personnel are required to check all bags at big fairground events, which wasn’t always a policy.

Barnard said attention to detail has become more important in recent years, and law enforcement is as prepared as they can be for the event of a mass shooting.

“Every law enforcement officer that works on the fairgrounds has been through mass shooting training and also school shooter training. Some have been through that course multiple times. In addition, the medical personnel that work on the fairgrounds during the large events have training as well,” he explained.

For future events, even more security may be considered.
A walk-through metal detector can cost up to 4,000 dollars. A handheld device costs up to 600, and it’s up to the event entity to purchase these security measures.
But that would also require additional staff and training.

KX News asked people if the current safety measures have them feeling safe at big events.

Billy Drago said, “I mean, Minot’s still a small enough town, you still kind of get that family feel so I’m not really too worried about it.” 

“Pretty much like every concert I’ve been to around here, there seems to be, in my opinion, more than enough police officers,” added Joseph Nelson.

While these people do feel safe, they’re not against additional security like being searched.

 Nelson said, “I feel like I’d be okay with that. I mean, not everybody who goes to these events necessarily wants to play nice.”

Bill Staskywicz agreed, saying, “Oh yeah, no problem. I mean, it’s just part of today’s society.”

You may notice security at events – the sheriff’s deputies, police, EMTs.
But there’s more going on behind the scenes too that you might not notice – like security cameras and plain clothes officers – to keep you safe.
At other big events off of the fairgrounds, like a high school football game, bags aren’t checked as guests arrive.

But there is a police presence, so ‘see something, say something’ advice still applies.

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