WALLA WALLA — Officers from eight law enforcement agencies will be on patrol during the upcoming Walla Walla County Fair & Frontier Days, scheduled to begin Wednesday.
The presence is not designed to be highly visible, however, according to Walla Walla County Undersheriff Edward Freyer.
“Our guys will be there, and people will see them,” Freyer said, adding the presence is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, while still clamping down on criminal activity, including gang-related activity.
“Our overall philosophy is, we’ll have zero tolerance for gang activity,” Freyer said. “(The fair) is a place for people to bring family and enjoy. We want everybody, all walks of our community, to enjoy it.”
Zero-tolerance includes members wearing gang-related clothing and flashing gang signs, according to Freyer. Anyone violating the zero-tolerance policy can be trespassed from the fairgrounds for the duration of the fair.
Freyer added that people caught with weapons or causing disturbance could face criminal trespass charges, and be banned from the fairgrounds for a year. People who have a legal permit to carry a concealed handgun may do so, provided the weapon remains concealed, Freyer said.
Freyer stated there have been fewer rumors than in the past of potential gang activity related to the upcoming fair, but a disturbance at the Umatilla County Fair in Hermiston that forced fair officials to close the fair early one night is a reminder to stay vigilant.