Riverfest protected by 100 security officers
On Saturday morning, Security Officer Philip Benson sat at one of the entrances to the event. He’d been there for nearly 12 hours.
For the second year in a row, Benson is putting in long hours at Riverfest, on the lookout or any misconduct.
“Basically what we try to do is ensure the safety of everybody that is here, as far as not letting fights break out and stuff like that,” he said.
Benson says those fights are usually started by people who drink a little too much and get rowdy.
“If you drink, try to limit yourself. Don’t get too drunk to where we have to escort you out of the park,” the security officer said.
Another security concern here is keeping children close to their parents.
“It can happen in a flash. I don’t have children but from what I hear it can happen so quickly,” said Zone Captain Barbara Daugherty. “You’re walking along, they stop and look at something because we have wonderful things to view everywhere and they stop and look at “oh that’s so exciting’ and in a flash they’re gone.”
Daugherty says there are officers ready to help find missing kids; especially if parents stop at an information booth when they first get to the event and ask for a sunny sticker.
“And then if the child does get lost, we ask that they come back and look for a sunny poster that we have here for them,” Daugherty said. “We have a really good system with the Little Rock police department. We always get them right back just as quickly as we can.”
For lost and stolen items, organizers point event-goers to the several information booths set up along the riverfront; the same place to pick up a festival program and tips for enjoying the weekend festivities.
“We all enjoy making sure everyone has a good time,” said Benson.
There are more than 100 security officers, including Little Rock police who will be on site throughout the weekend. Organizers say they haven’t had any issues with theft but event-goers are advised to leave their purses and other valuable items at home. All you need is a little cash and an ID.