Our Voice: Security concerns justified for summer events

Farm Forum

After much consternation and concern, the Brown County Commission Tuesday OK’d a malt beverage license for Groton’s Party in the Pasture event.

Commissioners wanted to be sure that the party — held on private land — was safe for visitors, and had recommended organizers hire six certified law officers, plus other security workers. Groton Community Supporters Inc. Tuesday told the Commission they have four, plus a Webster police officer and an ex-military police officer for security.

Satisfied, commissioners approved the special license for the party Friday and Saturday.

Commissioners did the right thing to push for stronger security. Alcohol licenses of any kind come with responsibility.

This decision comes on the heels of Aberdeen’s downtown Rockfest II Saturday. The 2012 event caught the attention of Aberdeen Police Chief Don Lanpher Jr., who was concerned about fights, alcohol-related incidents and an all-around unfriendly atmosphere for minors.

The 2013 Rockfest, by all accounts, went off without a hitch. There were no significant security issues. Lanpher said the intense heat might have clamped down on some of the partying, but whatever the reason, most everyone went home safe and without incident.

Organizers and event attendees may see the needs of the City Council or County Commission as unnecessary or prohibitive. But those officials are there to help ensure that folks are safe and have a good time.

Remember, just because there hasn’t been a tragic accident at area events in recent memory doesn’t mean there will never be.

Can you imagine the morning-after discussion if something were to go wrong? Everyone — lawmakers, organizers, performers, attendees — would be second-guessing if they could have done something more, or asking where things broke down.

On these two events, local leaders are taking the right steps to be sure these summertime events only lead to happy memories.

— American News editorial board