North Carolina State Fair

Law enforcement officers work to keep the fair safe

Posted October 20, 2009 12:47 a.m. EDT
Updated October 20, 2009 9:49 a.m. EDT

— Officials with the North Carolina State Fair have re-evaluated security needs following a stabbing Saturday night.

“What happened Saturday was a very rare occurrence. It was an isolated incident that occurred between two people who didn't get along for whatever reason, and we have the personnel out here who can respond to those types of situations,” fair spokesman Brian Long said.

Jaylan O'Quinn McNair was stabbed in the back in an open area between the midway and Dorton Arena, Long said. The Durham teen was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at WakeMed and was released early Sunday.

About 300 law enforcement officers walk the grounds every day at the fair, Long said.

In the first four days of the fair, 274,480 people passed through the gates. With so many people gathering in one place, Long said, crowd safety is always a concern.

Fairground security personnel meet every day to evaluate the security needs.

The fair also has plainclothes officers in the crowd to help deter crime. Surveillance cameras are used to monitor the grounds, and an on-site communications center aims to gets security information out quickly.

“I've seen several police. I've seen them at all entrances coming in. They were actually very cordial (and) spoke to the children, and I've seen them throughout the park as we walked around,” fairgoer Brandon Currin said Monday.

Authorities are still investigating the stabbing. No arrests have been made.