Paramount's Kings Island adds metal detectors in 2003

Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2003 3:34 AM | Contributed by Coasterville Dave

Paramount's Kings Island is adding walk-through metal detectors to screen guests entering the amusement park this year.

Read more from The Cincinnati Enquirer.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 3:50 AM
Who didn't see this coming?

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June 11th, 2001 - Gemini 100
VertiGo Rides - 82
Technical Services - 2002-2003
Frightzone Screamster - 2002-2003

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 3:50 AM
I am not against metal detectors but at an amusement park I think they give a false sense of safety and security.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 4:39 AM
I am against them in amusement parks for precisely that reason. That and the fact that they usually screw up front gate traffic flow, and most critically, all too frequently they mean that the park's security is focused on the front gate rather than on the park itself. Classic example during a Halloween event last fall. A park had put its entire security force on the front gate trying to wand people (and doing it in such a way that I could have brought in a Howitzer if I had wanted) while a near riot broke out at the roller coaster.

Other than delaying most people at the entrance, what do they think they are going to accomplish? They're going to keep "weapons" out of the park? Yeah, right. Thugs will choose different weapons and we'll all have to wait as the detectors are set off by buttons, belts, watches, cameras, and a whole host of other stuff that people carry with them.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Who notes that bag searches in parks are equally useless...

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 5:31 AM
The detectors are going to be outside the park on the brick patio before the ticket booths. 25 (At least) detectors are being purchased.

They will not be there opening weekend but will apear sometime durring the season as they were just ordered.

PKI states, For our guest as well as our own piece of mind.

Chuck, who gleened this info on last nights news.

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Charles Nungester.
It is my personal belief that Lesourdsville Lake is closed for 2003. I'll let you know if anything is announced.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 7:05 AM
I agree 100% with Wahoo and Dave. THey lead a VERY false sense of security and some parks have thier security forces spread thin already.

Can't find them when you need them as it is.

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June 11th, 2001 - Gemini 100
VertiGo Rides - 82
Technical Services - 2002-2003
Frightzone Screamster - 2002-2003

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 7:24 AM
I don't think the bottleneck is the major issue. I don't mind being incovenienced for security. To me the issue is that at a park like Kings Island or a host of other examples there are almost limitless ways to get weapons in the park.

I knew of a guy that got an entire go-kart out of a park without being caught be security. He got it over the fence in pieces without anyone knowing the difference. If he could get that go-kart over the fence in one direction what is to stop someone from getting a weapon over the fence from the other direction.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 9:06 AM
I would agree with Rideman. They only provide a flase sense of security and nothing else. If someone wants to bring a firearm into a theme park it can be done even with metal detectors as guns can be secured in area's of the body that wont be searched and enough people have metal plates in their body to use as an excuse as to why the alarm was set off!!! They are a nusiance to the public but dont increase anyone's safety. Now if the parks would throw trouble makers out of the park that may actually make the parks safer.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 9:16 AM
You all bring very real concerns:

While I don't think any venue can be faulted for adding security measues in these times, even if its only 'feel-good-security'.

However, once a venue goes down the road to utilizing a security checkpoint that adds a whole new level of responsibility. I.E. if I see metal detectors and bag searches, that grants me the reasonable expectation that there will be no contraband items in the park (in other words the reaosnable expectation that I am 'safe'). (And in the article the park refused to define 'contraband'). In order to do so, whatever security solution they adopt must:

1) Be applied equally to all persons who have access to the park. - This includes day guests, season pass holders, volunteers, staff, contractors, delivery workers, etc. Yes, that would even include the President or any other dignitary or VIP.

2) Be adopted at all points of access - All admission gates, service entrances, staff entrances, etc. In essence created a 'secure zone' not unlike an airport.

3) Take the costly measures to secure the park perimeter. Some parks have areas where the only obstruction from the outside ss a chain link fence. What use is it to boast a secure front gate, when one can pass an ojbect over or through a fence.

But there is a risk to turning your entertainment venue into a fortress if you apply all of your security budget to perimeter security, and that is the degradation of in-park security. Lets face facts, the most common crimes at an amusement park would seem to be theft, pickpocketing, fighting, line jumping, creating a disturbance, vanadlism, etc. All crimes whose perpetrators could easily pass through the checkpoint with no problem, and could go on to really ruin someone elses park experience while security is spread so thin they can't mount an adequate timely response. Let alone all the other services that park security provides: lost children/parents, summoning first-aid/fire teams in appropriate situations, and yes being a good information source for guests.

Lastly, the inconvenience at the park entrance, while it ins't pleasant, I can't really complain about it. Let's face another fact, I'm sure a part of the motivation for the checkpoint is so that the venue can do something highly visible to demonstrate that it is being a socially responsible business with your best intrests at heart in these troubled times. In effect there would be a group who would be offended if the park kept the status quo. I mentioned this news to a couple non-park-going friends who responded with "You mean they didn't have them before?"

Parting thought: Tourist attractions installing metal detectors is not exclusively an American phenomenon. Take for example the Flavian Ampitheatre (Colloseum) in Rome.

In case you missed my position: I'm not strongly for nor against, I merely have some reservations that parks may be trading in good old fashioned common sense (or brute force) security, and placing thar trust in technology. Personally I would like to see the security checkpoints as a supplement to a good strong and effective security presense in a venue, NOT as a replacement.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 10:09 AM
You make a great point about everyone equally being checked. Look at all of the entrances that a park like Cedar Point has. You certainly couldn't put up metal detectors at the front gate without putting them at the Marina Gate, Challenge Park Gate, Oceana Gate and the Employee entrances. Then you have all of the vendor's that might go into the park. It would be a logistical nightmare. And for what? So I would be put out enough to go down Perimeter Road and toss a gun over the fence.

Heck, at the Point I could drive my boat right onto the beach.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 10:26 AM
I don't like that they are going to put metal detectors outside of KI and screen quests at all. I have a few pieces of metal in me and when I go through the metal detector at the local airport. I sent it off 9 times out of 10. Putting metal detectors as a screening measure before any guests getinto the park as a whole is going to pull security off the inside of the park where the action is at. I have a key ring that happens to have a dual spike, which is dull, on it. What are they going to do take my keys away just because I want to have them on the ring in case I get mugged in the park. Let the guests help in protecting themselves while in the park. KI is going down the road that will turn the park into a fortress and that is wrong. I haven't seen that many incidents where guns or knives were carried into the parks, was use in a crime. We have been hearing about the incidents where the park rides have malfunctioned lately.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 10:37 AM
While not exactly following the topic, this does involve metal detectors. While waiting in line at SFWoA to go through the metal detectors, an older lady made the following statement: "Why don't they just have one big one that goes the whole way across? It would speed things up so well..." In all honesty, are people really lacking that much common sense? ;) Anyway, I'm all for metal detectors. They may not pick up everything, but I think parks use them as more of a scare tactic as well.

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If at first don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.*** This post was edited by MarimbaGuy87 3/26/2003 3:42:08 PM ***

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 11:38 AM
So whats this do for the parking lot? Not a darn thing like some park that had a beating out in front of it while security looked on.

Chuck, not mentioning the park but some know about it

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Charles Nungester.
It is my personal belief that Lesourdsville Lake is closed for 2003. I'll let you know if anything is announced.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 5:56 PM
Sounds like a good idea. I wonder what took them so long? Metal detectors have been at SFMM and KBF for years.

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They call me Sir Lancelot, the "Prince of Camelot".

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003 6:36 PM
Wahoo, you ever see Beverly Hills Cop 3? Axel was subject to a full pat-down search and still managed to come up with a BFG when he needed it. It took a few seconds of planning on his part and just a little knowledge of the park.

Dave's point about creating a secure zone within the park is a good one, and in fact, some crafty attorney is probably already working on how to hold the park responsible if somebody gets hurt by another park-goer carrying some kind of weapon, because the magnetometer brings with it the assumption that the park assumes responsibility for customer safety. Even though it is not legally necessary, I think the Rules for Search Warrants as spelled out in the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution should be applied, specifically that such a warrant should describe "the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Let me put that another way: The decision to allow or to not allow an item into the park should not be at the officer's discretion. If the park is going to search its customers (whether using a magnetometer or not), that park needs to identify AND PUBLISH those items which are prohibited. If a park wants to search my bags or my pockets, they had best tell me what they are looking for, and they had best be specific about it. Fishing expeditions should not be permitted.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, March 27, 2003 12:20 AM
I like the fact that security is a big issue amongst all the parks in the nation...you would think that some of the parks here in Florida would put them in instead of just looking into what you are carrying into the gates.....First time I ever saw them in a park was SFGAdvent. in New Jersey and that was quite awhile ago, now more then ever there are people out there who could take advantage of lack of security in some of the parks that we call home.....does this mean every park should have them???

I worked Universal Stuido's Islands of Adventure Halloween Horror Nights and saw just how many things people were trying to bring in including guns and knives it's crazy to think that people do this but the line to go to jail was just as long as some of the rides.

Be safe at all times and take a look around......people prey on the ignorant!

God Bless the USA and Our Brothers and Sisters at War!

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If you don't know a thing about rollercoasters, don't stand in line in front of me and act like you do!

Jamin
-Dueling Dragons '02
-Millennium Force '01
-Bluestreak '00

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 6:04 AM
My opinion on the issue is that we are at a high risk of terrorism and amusement parks are one of the prime targets of terrorists. Ive worked at Kings Island for 2 seasons and going on my 3d season. As an asscociate I would feel alot more comfortable knowing that security is keeping these scuicide bombers and guys with deadly chemicals out of the park and keeping them from harming my fellow assiciates/supervisors or guests. im 100% for these metal detectors!!! thank you pki!!!! :)

thats just my opinion......

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