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Tri-State Fair safety & security

The Potter County Sheriff's Office says 37 lost children have been reported and found at teh Tri-State fair so far this year. (ABC 7 Amarillo-Tiffany Lester)

The Tri-State Fair continues in Amarillo through Saturday, September 23.

ABC 7 News looks at the safety and security there.

“It is hard. It’s hard to keep track of them. We come in a big group every year,” said Amarillo resident David Hawley.

“There’s so many people out here and it’s so easy for the little ones to get lost in the shuffle of people,” said Amarillo resident Jesse Navarro.

Crowds of people gather for a fun trip to the Tri-State Fair in Amarillo each year.

Every year, Potter County Sheriff’s Deputies patrol the area to keep folks safe and secure.

“We have officers stationed at the food court, the midway, kiddie land and at all the gates, so anytime anybody needs any assistance, there’s always an officer nearby to help,” said Potter County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Craig Smith.

Near the Midway, Fair-goers can find the PCSO lost children and first aid tent.

It’s where people can go if their child gets lost.

“We send out a broadcast over our radios to all the officers, firefighters, everyone out here is looking for the lost child. We give a description, name, age, clothing, anything we can get on what the child looks like,” said Smith.

There have been 37 lost children reported so far this year.

“It’s not a good thing to even have to think about but it would be the worst feeling to lose one of our grandkids. At an event with so many kids out here, it is too easy for just somebody to walk away with one of them,” said Hawley.

Sgt. Craig Smith tells ABC 7 News they typically find the children fairly quickly, but that’s not always the case.

“In this case yesterday, the child was lost for quite a while and we were really having to step up our efforts. The child was eventually found playing on a ride in Kiddieland and when we searched there, the child was probably on a ride and probably weren’t able to see the child on the ride at the time,” said Smith.

With hundreds of people out at the Tri-State Fair, it can be difficult to find a lost child, but officials have a few simple rules to keep in mind to keep your child safe.

Smith said parents or guardians should stay close to their children as best they can to keep an eye on them.

Smith also suggests taking a picture of them before coming to the crowded fairgrounds and even writing your phone number on their clothing or wristband.

Smith added that parents should bring children to the lost children tent at the start of your fair trip, so they know where to go if they get lost.

Smith and residents at the fair tell ABC 7 News they believe the heavy police presence at the fair helps lower the crime rate there, whether it be underage drinking, drugs or fighting.

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