Geauga County sheriff pulls deputies out of Six Flags Worlds of Adventure

Posted Monday, January 19, 2004 8:06 AM | Contributed by supermandl

The Geauga County Sheriff's Department will no longer provide deputies to patrol Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, a controversial practice that started a decade ago. Officers who worked the park were not full-time deputies; instead, they typically were law enforcement rookies who lived in the area and wanted to bolster résumés while earning a few extra dollars over the summer.

Read more from The Plain Dealer.

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Monday, January 19, 2004 9:02 AM
Hmmm. SFWoA employees not properly trained? Say it ain't so!
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Monday, January 19, 2004 9:45 AM
It ain't so...at least not in that story ;) It doesn't say anything about the training of SFWoA employees. But these guys as it states weren't properly trained either.

They really were considered (by many) a joke. They have caused the park, and the city, MANY "Newsworthy" stories.

Since SFWoA is FINALLY realizing they need more employee training (stated at NoCoasterCon.) And they are also building a new security post (as seen by doing drive-bys. Not to mention they no longer need that police to just sit there and press the little button so you can cross the street. This is a good step for the city and park.

"The Future of Roller Coasters"
-RollerCoasterGod
http://OhioThemeParks.com

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Monday, January 19, 2004 10:00 AM
When I went to SFWOA for the first time 2 years ago the first thing I noticed was the heavy police presents. I thought maybe the park had a lot of problems with gangs and fights and stuff. Hmmmmm interesting. Maybe have 1 uniformed officer in all parks would be a good thing if you ask me. However, I would put the national guard in at my home park SFGADV.

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Monday, January 19, 2004 12:01 PM
#1 Anything from the plain dealer can be considered ANTI SFWOA!

#2 it's in SFWOA's better interest to have a fully trained security detail, rather than a bunch of yahoo locals with glory on their mind, monitoring the park looking for trouble. Many times these folks can't handle the difference between lawbreakers and un-ruly guests and over react causing a guest injury.

SAM

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Monday, January 19, 2004 12:20 PM
Park security is quite different from normal police duty. In addition to security, park security people have an important customer relations role. Using local rookie cops just doesn't provide this.
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Monday, January 19, 2004 2:15 PM
Crashmondo, just how heavy were those police presents?:)
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Monday, January 19, 2004 3:25 PM
I'd say 700 or 800 lbs a piece. Pretty heavy stuff. :>)
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Monday, January 19, 2004 4:17 PM
From working with many of the deputies I can say they were very professional and I am sorry to see them go.
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Monday, January 19, 2004 5:47 PM
Now I'm really shocked! You mean to tell me that they've had police officers there all this time and YET somebody was able to throw a rock and hit sue-happy lady on Villian back in 2000! Where were the cops? I can see why they are leaving. When sue-happy rider gets wind of this, she will sue the city along with the park.

Lets see---now we've got police departments getting out of the business of protecting and serving because they don't want the liability! How long before amusement parks get rid of all of their thrill rides because they don't want the liability!?

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Monday, January 19, 2004 7:26 PM
Very good Jeffrey...Bravo!!

You see...Bainbridge, which is located in Geauga Co., has been trying to do away with their *neighbor* for years. They didn't mind the smell of dead fish and the barking sea lions all year 'round....NOOOO. It was that cheesy, tacky, amusement park with their loud rides that run only in a few months of the year that doesn't fit into their stuffy image.

I wouldn't be surprised if the park tried to sue the county over the Villian incident since the Sheriffs deputies are ultimately responsible for protection of park patrons via their contract with the park. Geauga county and Bainbridge Twp.were offended that the cheesy amusement park would even consider trying to sue them, so they got together and decided to put the screws back at the park by pulling the contract with the Sheriffs deputies.

Hoping the park would be forced not to open this year in light of not having time to staff a security force to protect its patrons, they could force their noisy neighbors' hand, or at least make life miserable for them. The park which has existed there for 116 years, isn't a good thing to have so close to housing developements that were built in the last couple of decades. Bainbridge is a quiet peacefull upper class community. Amusement parks don't belong there or fit into their image as a whole.

*** This post was edited by Thrillerman 1/19/2004 7:27:42 PM ***

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Monday, January 19, 2004 7:34 PM
I see Thrillerman! There was way more to it than I realized! I was just using my sarcastic humor and following the little voice in my head (named common sense). I knew there was more to this story than the way it was presented in the article. Police Officers love side jobs to make a little extra money. A SFWOA detail would have been a nice side gig! It did not pass the smell test with me!
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Tuesday, January 20, 2004 9:10 AM
you got that right Brian. Not much is properly trained there. There has to be a force of authority in that park. It gets really scary at time. WOA can be a very routy place. Management needs to rethink there security plans . Because there really needs to be Police on this Six Flags property.Retrain them and stick em right back in the place for the safely of all the employees and guests.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2004 4:44 PM
The big problem for the park is without actual officers on site they have to call in the local authority any time an arrest needs to be made. Thus opening the door for a public nuisance issue. I don't think the park is higher than average for dumb trouble-making guests, but the need is there for something more than a rent a cop.

The big problem is that the park lies within two local jurisdictions.

And in response to Thrillerman, the funniest thing about Bainbridge's eternal hatrid for the park is that anything they have done to hamper the park has failed miserably.

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Thursday, January 22, 2004 1:28 AM
The deputies at Six Flags were mistreated by the main Sheriff's office after Sheriff Red Simmons past away and Sheriff Dan McClelland took office. Six Flags Management and the Security Management for Six Flags have long requested additional training for their deputies, but the main office wouldn't give it to them.

Though the training of these deputies were not below par, they all went through the academy and several of them also worked for different departments. The problem was the limitation placed on them by the main office.

This year there will be A LOT OF PROBLEMS with these deputies gone. Every little incident that goes on at Six Flags, they will call in for either Bainbridge or Aurora (They don't staff the amount of people per shift to handle the load.) There were enough incidents at six flags last year where this coming season these two departments will be faced with 40 call for assistance a day. The safety of Six Flags and the safety of these two towns are at risk because of a Sheriff who doesn't know how to treat his own men.

To top off this story, the Sheriff never told Six Flags anything about pulling the deuputies out, he let them read it in the paper. So now there are 40 people without a job. (Which I agree with the Sam, the Plain Dealer is very much Anti-SFWOA).

*** This post was edited by John Hammer 1/22/2004 1:34:01 AM ***

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Friday, January 23, 2004 5:54 PM
I certainly don't think the PD is anti-WOA. They print stories they think people would want to read. There hasn't been much going on at the park, and when there was good park news was all over that rag. PD can't help if there hasn't been any good news or that people want to write negative editorials on the park.

The only other park in the PD's market recieved plenty of bad articles this past season. And everyone said, they wouldn't care if it wasn't THAT park.

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