Stampede Security and CPS work together to keep public safe
As thousands of people flock to our city for "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", the task of keeping them all safe falls to Stampede Security with help from the Calgary Police.
It's only day three and already they have had to deal with a weapons incident and an alleged gang member.
Officers patrol the grounds 24 hours a day, overseeing a population roughly the size of Red Deer.
Stampede Security officials tell CTV News it takes a full year of preparations to manage the 10 days of Stampede, including dozens of officers, cameras, random searches and a lot of communication
At what's known as "Mission Control", or the Stampede's Central Dispatch, security officers monitor roughly 100 surveillance cameras located in and around Stampede Park.
It is also where countless security staff report to receive updates, radios and their patrol zones.
"What you see at the Park is only a very small portion of what's going on from a safety perspective," said Steve Foster with Stampede Security.
The key to their success is a close partnership with the Calgary Police Service. CPS also has dozens of officers on the grounds at any given time on the lookout for alcohol, weapons, or troublemakers, as was the case on Friday when a man released a can of pepper spray into the crowd at the Bud Big Rig and was quickly arrested.
While regular patrols and random searches are part of the job, officers say for the most part, people are well behaved.
"The vast majority of people come down here to have a good time," said Calgary Police Service Acting Inspector Keith Cain. "But the officers we have, we have evenly dispersed throughout the park so we can respond to anything very quickly. But the bottom line is we don't often have major incidents down here."
But Cain says they're prepared if they do have a major incident.
"We work the Stampede and are very vigilant to make sure that people who are down here for the wrong reasons are removed from the park."
Stampede Security officials tell CTV News on Thursday a man police say is a known gang member was spotted on the grounds. They say he was not there for any malicious reason, however, for public safety reasons, he was asked to leave and was escorted away from the park.