Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News
Police say a new surveillance camera system covers every inch of the State Fair of Texas.
Dallas police are using a new surveillance camera system at this year's State Fair of Texas.
Police would not show NBC 5 the system, citing safety concerns, but said it covers every inch of the fairgrounds, from the midway to the skyway.
"We can zoom in and pan around with the cameras," said Lt. Scott Bratcher, one of the commanders at this year's fair. "It gives us, a lot of extra eyes. Last year, we experimented with three or four of them; now we have a bunch of them."
The State Fair of Texas purchased the cameras.
"When you consider millions of people will visit the fair over the next 24 days, we think we do a pretty good job of keeping them safe," Bratcher said.
Since the State Fair of Texas opened Friday, Dallas police said the cameras have been particularly helpful along the midway, where tall rides and large crowds have restricted officers' views in past years.
"People watching cameras can say, 'Hey they're congregating by the pirate ship. You might want to send people through there,'" Bratcher said.
So far, only one violent crime has been reported at the fair -- a robbery Monday night along the midway. Police said they were there within seconds and arrested the suspect on the fairgrounds.
Fair-goers seem to like the addition of surveillance cameras.
"I think it's great," said Valerie Kneelan, who was visiting from Montana.
"We've always felt safe here," said Courtney Obasohan, of Grand Prairie. "I haven't had any issues or felt unsafe at anytime since we've been here."
The State Fair of Texas runs through Oct. 23.