By ERIC SCHAADT
With carnival rides, exhibits and lemonade shakeups, the Hancock County Fair has a lot of offer.
But the county fair is not a baby-sitting service, according to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.
“Don’t take young kids to the fair … and drop them off,” Deputy Shane Leeth admonished Wednesday.
While the county fair is a relatively safe place to spend time, deputies Barry Turner and Leeth suggested that visitors be aware of their surroundings.
The sheriff’s department has an office inside a building at the fairgrounds, along with an informational tent near that building.
No serious problems have been noticed at the fair so far, according to the sheriff’s office. And no reports have been made to the sheriff’s office involving any attempted scams.
“Not that I’ve heard of,” sheriff’s office Crime Prevention Specialist Beth Baker said Wednesday.
Baker said blocking card protectors, provided by the county auditor’s office, are available at the sheriff’s office at the fair.
Credit cards can be slipped into a card protector to shield them from would-be thieves armed with card scanners which they use to collect credit card data from the unsuspecting.
Common sense, deputies said, should dictate that fairgoers avoid dark places at the fairgrounds and stay in well-lit areas, while using caution in parking areas.
“It’s good to be aware of your surroundings all the time,” Baker said.
While the exact number of sheriff’s deputies on patrol at the fair was not immediately available Wednesday, more attention is paid by the sheriff’s office on Friday and Saturday at the fair.
Baker recommended that families designate a place at the fair beforehand to meet if someone becomes lost.
“Keep an eye on those kiddos,” she advised.
The sheriff’s office at the fairgrounds can assist lost children. Child identification cards are available at the sheriff’s building.
Also, a parent can write a telephone number on a child’s arm and cover that number with a liquid bandage or nail polish, Baker suggested.
Lost children can seek help from a deputy at the fairgrounds, or from a mother with children, she added.
Sheriff’s office representatives also suggested that fairgoers should remain hydrated.
Lemonade shakeups, for example.
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