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DPS says Arizona State Fair security sound in wake of Las Vegas shooting

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LISTEN: Captain Tony Mapp, Arizona Department of Public Safety

PHOENIX — The Department of Public Safety said Tuesday that people should rest assured they will be safe at the Arizona State Fair despite the recent shooting in Las Vegas.

“There’s a system we have in place and it’s worked for this whole time that I’ve been there,” DPS Capt. Tony Mapp told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes.

“(We’ve) never had a major incident and we just try to keep it family-friendly and make sure we have people in the right places when people come in.”

One of the fair’s main features is a long list of free concerts inside the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Though the Las Vegas shooter targeted an outdoor country music festival, Mapp said law enforcement was not planning to make sweeping changes.

“We have a good security plan that we’ve used for the last couple years,” he said “We’ve always had a plan for the different things that could happen there, so we’re pretty well set.”

However, that doesn’t mean DPS has been sitting idle.

“In different large-scale events, you run through many different scenarios with many different plans to take care of these scenarios,” he said. “There’s a constant planning and running of these scenarios based on what’s going on in the world today.”

DPS has learned more about securing big outdoor events in the past that was applied to this year’s security measures.

“One of the things that we’ve done now is a lot pre-things before you come in,” he said. “Meeting you before you come in to the state fair, engaging [people] as they come up to the gate and catching them before they come in with anything.”

Mapp said fair attendees can help law enforcement be better at their jobs.

“If we could have people come to the State Fair and minimize the backpacks or things that we can’t see through — it’s not a requirement, but we would really like to see you guys put things in a clear bag,” he said.

Mapp said people should keep in mind the old adage, “If you see something, say something.”

“Just be aware of your surroundings,” he said. “Be aware of where you came in, where your exits are as you’re walking through the State Fair.”

Though he doesn’t expect anything to happen, Mapp said troopers and officers will be in place just in case.

“If there are other things that happen, law enforcement and security would be there to help,” he said.

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