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Covered bridge festival is underway: How to stay safe during the festivities

It's that time of year again, the Covered Bridge Festival kicks off Friday morning! While many are preparing for what's ahead, so are law enforcement.

Posted: Oct 10, 2019 9:30 AM

PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)- It's that time of year again, the Covered Bridge Festival kicks off Friday morning!

While many are preparing for the festivities, so are law enforcement. 

The Parke County Sheriff's Office is doing their part by increasing security due to safety issues in the past.

News 10 spoke with Sheriff Justin Cole. He says each officer will work at least 12 hours a shift to ensure safety.

Last year the police say they received the most calls for theft, lost children, and medical emergencies. Counterfeit bills and products were also an issue.

In fact, 24 people were arrested for selling items such as North Face and Michael Kors illegally.

Due to the illegal activity, a new set of regulations were put in place. They required all vendors to be inspected before opening.

Cole tells us he's hopeful this will lower the number of counterfeit products being sold.

"There's still some of that and we will probably see a little bit of it this year, but definitely not as much as there was in the past. Generally, we're pretty good on catching them each year during the festival but it's all based on good information provided by the victims," said Cole.

In addition to these concerns, pedestrian safety is also a top priority for law enforcement.

Police say pedestrian accidents are common for this time of year. 

"Our roads aren't built to handle this much traffic so if you're coming in from out of the area the main thing is just to be alert and be aware of your surroundings," said Cole.

While the event is supposed to be fun, police ask that you report any selling of counterfeit products and that you keep an eye out for those on the road.

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