SACRAMENTO, California — While no one was arrested during the California State Fair opening weekend - a first in 10 years -, many people have commented about being skeptical of that statistic. Despite the skepticism, police say they've actually been more active in the past couple of years.

"I've asked our officers to be more interactive and more engaging with the public and just having officers out in the venue - and having them walking around is a visual deterrent," said Cal Expo and State Fair Police Chief Everest J. Robillard Robillard.

Chief Robillard took over as police chief in 2018, which could be another possible reason for the decrease. He had more than 40 officers patrolling Friday night at the fair.

He says it's important to build a relationship with visitors.

"That interaction - I don't think they've seen before," Chief Robillard said. "It's worked, and we're gonna continue with that success."

The numbers show a downward trend in the number of arrests since 2017.

  • 2018 -13 total arrests. Seven for public intoxication, two for resisting arrests, and another two for "unlawfully touching another person."
  • 2017 - 45 total arrests, which included 16 for public intoxication and 7 for resisting arrests.
  • 2016 - 69 total arrests, which included 24 for public intoxication and 10 for resisting arrests.

In contrast to prior years, Chief Robillard said there have been four arrests so far as of Friday evening since the fair started. 

"We had one misdemeanor domestic battery where a girlfriend punched her boyfriend, but no group fights or group arrests as in the past," Robillard said.

The other arrests were for an outstanding arrest warrant, someone trying to pass a counterfeit $100 bill, and public intoxication.

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