Updated: June 10, 2021 10:23 PM
Created: June 10, 2021 08:40 PM
Ramsey County Manager Ryan O'Connor told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he's "optimistic" the county and the Minnesota State Fair can come to an agreement on a contract that provides law enforcement at the fair this year using the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.
"I am optimistic, generally, because we are about to have the first State Fair in two years," O'Connor said. "I believe we need to come to work as public servants and be optimistic and collaborative every day and I think that's what is happening as we talk about the State Fair."
The State Fair police chief retired in May and since then three different law enforcement agencies have declined the fair's overtures to take over public safety this year, but Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher has been negotiating a deal that would see his office overseeing security measures in 2021 and possibly beyond.
But, O'Connor told KSTP there has to be a proposed contract between the State Fair and the sheriff's office that would then go to the Ramsey County Board for final approval.
"The Board will make the decision a proposed contract and the overall framework from insurance and costs and we will need to see the costs laid out and the insurance pieces, which is now being worked on," O'Connor said.
Fletcher told KSTP he now has a commitment from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety that will provide an additional 30 Minnesota State Troopers and/or Department of Natural Resources officers at the fair.
"The pieces of the puzzle are there and they are coming together," Fletcher said. "You will also see some new security measures that you might assume could make it take a little longer to get into the fair and those changes will mostly be at the gates."
The Ramsey County Board and Fletcher have a meeting to discuss these details on June 22.
Copyright 2021 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company