Security and ride safety, focus of 2016 Mississippi State Fair - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Security and ride safety, focus of 2016 Mississippi State Fair

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The start of the Mississippi State Fair is just a week away, and as the 12 day party on the midway approaches, the focus for fair officials is on security and ride safety.

"In the past week we've already had two inspections on the slide," said Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith.

She is also State Fair Commissioner and for the past two months has been preparing for the opening of the 157th Mississippi State Fair.

Last year The Fair Commission filed an emergency complaint in Hinds County Chancery Court against JPD after the department said it would not be able to provide perimeter security due to budget cuts. Chief Lee Vance said the extra patrols cost $300,000 in overtime.

An agreement was reached to reimburse the Jackson Police Department.

Tuesday Chief Lee Vance said financial accommodations were made, and they were ready to go.

"We have met with JPD, and they're saying whatever we need down here you know just let us know what it is," added Hyde-Smith. "We've met, got everything worked out and really it's a positive and a great working relationship".

Ride safety is also a priority. Earlier this month tragedy struck at the Delta Fair in Memphis.

Seven people fell from the Moonraker when it was stopped by a computer at a sharp angle, and an operator accidentally released the safety belts.

"The good thing about North American Midway, the thing that gives me so much confidence, they have the highest safety standards that they meet," said the Ag Commissioner. "They come in here. They inspect every ride. They come back in. They got through it again".

Fair officials said they have had record numbers the past two years and are optimistic about 2016 attendance.

"We want everyone to have a good time, but first and foremost we want everybody to be safe. We want the rides to be safe and that you can go back home with a great memory," added Hyde-Smith.

The Mississippi State Fair runs October 5-16.

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