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Police Presence on Madera Fairgrounds

Extra law enforcement was on hand ensuring everyone had a fun and safe time. Officers say there's been a recent spike in gang activity and they won't tolerate it spilling into the fairgrounds.

Public safety is the number one priority here at the Madera Fair.  That's why nearly 40 law enforcement officers were pulled from across Madera County.

Food vendors, games and loud screams from carnival rides aren't the only sights, sounds and tastes you'll take in while at the Madera Fair. A strong police presence will also be felt.

Manuel Rodriguez went to the fair with his family and said the extra patrol is what keeps bringing him back year after year.

"They wave hi to you, they let us know that they're out here. When you come through the gates, you know," said Rodriguez.

Each day before the fair opens and before nightfall, law enforcement from across the county gather to discuss recent crime on the streets that may find its way into the fair.

"There's been a spike in gang violence," said Madera Police Department Sergeant Gino Chiaramonte.

Law enforcement said much of that violence has been attributed to teens.
This week leading up to the fair has been especially violent. 
Tuesday night, 17-year-old Jorge Navarro was gunned down near Martin Street and Road 27 in a drive-by shooting.

And one day later a 19-year-old was shot several times at the intersection of Sunrise and Wallace sending him to the hospital. This shooting was confirmed to be gang related and police say it won't be tolerated on the fairgrounds.

"It's a family event. This isn't an event for the gang members to congregate and show it's their turf," said Sgt. Chiaramonte.

Families said they're happy to know their kids are in a safe environment.

"I think it's a great idea," said fair goer, Peggy Moore. "There's a lot of people here."

The fair will continue throughout Sunday.

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