MISSOULA – Since the Western Montana Fair began just a few days ago, there have been around eight cases where children have been separated from adults at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.
MTN News stopped by the fair to learn more about what security resources are available to help.
Situations of kids being separated from their parents can be extremely stressful, but with the help of law enforcement, emergency responders and volunteers it can take only five-to-20 minutes for kids and parents to be returned.
The Missoula Police Department and the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office work at the fair and share a dispatch channel. MESI and the fire department are also at the fairgrounds and the fair’s security office is always manned during hours of operation.
Missoula Police Lieutenant Eddie McLean told MTN News that they are at the Western Montana Fair to help.
"If people are seeing something that they think is illegal, unsafe, or a concern of theirs, address one of the officers that are on scene. We want to make this an enjoyable experience for the entire public and anything that we can do to make that experience better for people that’s also in our purview," Lt. McLean said.
He also offered up some tips for people to keep in mind as they enjoy the fair over the weekend.
- Bring plenty of water
- Designate a meeting spot if you and your group are separated.
- Make sure your young children know your first and last name, address, and if possible your phone number as well.
- When in doubt find an officer.