Security Doublethink At Rodeo Ungood, Illusive


R.S. Gates beats metal detector by palming his blade at H.O.T. Rodeo

Waco – H.O.T. Fair Executive Director Wes Alison admitted he has no records of training or background checks of security guards he hired to check visitors to the Rodeo Grounds at the Extraco Event Center in October.

In response to a Public Information Act request for copies of invoices or receipts, cancelled checks or contracts, he said his department has no records “responsive to the request.”

All those things cost money, and according to theTexas Occupation Code, any guard who “interacts with the public” must be vouched for by official background checks and specifically trained to perform security functions to protect the public.

Information activist R.S. Gates was able to enter the rodeo arena with a knife much longer than the three-inch blade allowed under security regulations. His knife, a serrated-edged, tactical model measures 4.75 inches in length overall, its blade 3.75 inches.

He was able to get past the metal detectors by palming the knife and holding his hands over his head, as directed by the guards, all of whom were wearing green t-shirts clearly marked “Security,” a requirement of state law, on October 10, 2016, according to a complaint to the Private Security Commission of the Department Safety.

On that day, numerous open carry activists assembled at the entry gates of the rodeo grounds in a confrontation with guards, and ultimately Alison, himself, questioning the legality of banning weapons such as knives or handguns at the arena. They pointed to an opinion by the Texas Attorney General which precludes such a practice under a law enacted by the Legislature during its latest session in 2015.

On that day, Alison would respond only by saying, “A decision was made.”

To view a video of the event, click here:

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