KENNEWICK, Wash.-- The Benton-Franklin Fair and Rodeo is quickly approaching and law enforcement is taking all the precautions to make sure it is a safe event.
Lots of people are attracted to the Benton-Franklin Fair and Rodeo and that includes gang members. Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane says they are taking all the steps necessary to make sure gang activity doesn't cause any problems at this year's fair.
"It's just an opportunity for gang members to get out there and socialize and things like that and obviously that draws rival gang members into the area. So it could lead to problems and we want to make sure that we're visible so we can prevent any problems from occurring," says Keane.
Law enforcement from agencies throughout the area are bringing together their resources to protect fair goers. Officials will be in uniform and plain clothes to identify gang members and stop any activity before it starts.
Kennewick Police Sergeant Ken Lattin says the won't put up with gang behavior.
"They'll all start to group up, a particular gang, and then there may be rival gang members out there and so they may try to exert intimidation over that group. We're just not going to tolerate that."
Around twenty detectives will be there every night who know who the gang members are and signs to look for.
"Anybody is welcome at the fair. Just don't come flying your colors. Don't come with the intent to cause trouble because if you do, we're there. We'll handle it accordingly," says Lattin.
No gang issues have happened at the fair in the past, but law enforcement knows that's because they take action to prevent it.
"We have been very successful this is a family event and we want to keep it that way," says Keane.
"The fair is safe. We're not doing this because we think that we're going to have a problem. There's always that potential. It's a large group. We want to be prepared," says Lattin.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:40 AM EDT2013-05-21 06:40:56 GMT
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