The State Fair of Texas may be known for its unique eats and fried, sugary treats, but not everything about this Texas institution is sweet.
The fair pulls in revenues of about $56 million each year, but they aren’t spending those funds providing security for fairgoers. Instead, they pull the officers from the city’s police forces.
The Dallas Observer revealed that during the fair’s 24-day run in the city would pull 10 percent of the police force from the streets, straining the city’s already overtaxed forces. With only 2,900 of the 3,600 officers needed to patrol the city, a reduction in force leaves the city undermanned.
— Travel Texas (@TravelTexas) September 13, 2017
Most events pay for off-duty officers to provide security, which can put a strain on their budget. However, officers who work the fair are pulled from their regular duties during their normal work schedule, leaving those tasks undone.
Their salaries are paid by city tax dollars, not the fair’s budget.
While it avoids paying for security, the fair pays its top executive $700,000 and spends a large portion of its budget fighting open records requests.
The city of Dallas will pay an estimated $3 million to provide security forces for the fair this year; the fair is only offering $1 million to help cover the costs, which is up from about $550,000 in previous years.
Last week, the city reached an agreement with the fair to accept those terms.