According to a story on the Channel 22 WSBT website (official motto: what do you mean, there are people outside South Bend?), a LaPorte County sheriff's deputy was told to pay the $5 entrance fee, even though he needed to enter the fair to make an arrest.
Fair and police officials are calling this a mix-up, I call it just plain idiocy.
Apparently the misunderstanding arises from the fact that the fair used private security this year, rather than hiring police officers. As a result, deputies who had worked the fair in the past now had to pay to get in, "unless called to make an arrest," said the website.
Sergeant Mike Kellems was called to the fairgrounds to arrest a man on an outstanding felony warrant. Kellems stopped at the gate and said he was there to arrest a fugitive, but was told by two separate
Kellems paid the ticket, and then asked for a receipt, and returned to his squad car to wait for it. (Personally, I would have then entered, done my job, and gotten the receipt on the way out, but that's just me.) Kellems waited for several minutes, but nobody showed up, so he went inside to the fair security office, where the fugitive had already been detained.
The stupid part is that when the fair decided to use a private security firm, they arranged with the sheriff's department to allow deputies to enter the fairgrounds without a ticket, since the private security firm cannot make arrests.
What I don't understand is why Kellems didn't just remind the two gate attendants that of the three of them, only he had the power to arrest people for obstructing justice and being a general pain in the ass. The other two were just there to collect money and hand out tiny pieces of paper. While that may be an important job, I would think removing a felon from their midst would be worth forgoing the $5 just this once.
Like this post? Leave a comment, Digg it, or Stumble it.