Cpl. Jason Himmel’s co-workers will probably be the first ones to tell you, that he loves his job, and loves to talk. To Himmel, talk is code for community policing.
Working his 19th fair, Himmel, wanders through the crowd with ease. The screams, roar of the rides, and sea of people are his comfort zone.
“Hey ladies, you are on TV,” Himmel tells a group of girls.
“You are on candid camera,” he yells out to a guy walking by.
“Tell him you aren't going to buy him any fried Oreos that way,” Himmel tells a husband and wife searching for the exit.
A giant news camera in his face, Himmel, still at ease.
“You meet everybody. It's a good way for us to interact with them,” Himmel said. So, it’s nice. It's different. It’s a good change because most interactions you have is a traffic stop and no one likes getting a ticket.”
There are hundreds of law enforcement officers working the fair. Some are in uniform, some undercover.
Himmel said they are trained for numerous scenarios from an active shooter to a terrorist attack. The biggest problem they have, unruly teens. This year there is a zero tolerance policy. If you knock into someone on purpose or start arguing and fighting, you are gone.
So far a handful of kids have been thrown out of the fair. With thousands of people coming out to enjoy the food, rides, and atmosphere, Himmel hopes kids will do the same and not start any trouble.
“If they see a cop they say, hey maybe I shouldn't act up,” Himmel said.
A few seconds later, Himmel was back doing what he loves the most…you guessed it…talking to people.
“Don't take any more garbage from him. Tell him no food, that's good stuff my man,” Himmel said and kept walking.