OKLAHOMA CITY – “I showed my credentials to the security… I told him that I’m a law enforcement officer and that I have a firearm on me, and they said ‘You can’t come in here with a firearm,'” said Captain Adam Flowers with the Canadian County Sheriff’s office.
Flowers is reacting to a moment he said he’s never experienced. He said security with Frontier City turned him away from the park.
“I wasn’t there to ride rides. I wasn’t there to play games. I was there as a chaperon for my family and for the school,” he said.
Flowers said he was off duty and went to the park with his firearm concealed.
Flowers said, when he went through the metal detector, security told him he couldn’t go in. He said he had already purchased a ticket.
“They called another security guard over, and he said, ‘No, this is private property and you’re not welcome here’ and I turned around and left as my family and about 11,000 other kids went into Frontier City,” he said. “I was in shock that they didn’t want law enforcement in there watching out for 11,000 of their customers.”
Flowers, along with other members of law enforcement, are now questioning the company’s policy.
“When bad things happen… more times than not, it’s an off-duty officer that’s the first one there,” said Jerry Flowers, chief agent of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
“Why wouldn’t they want a more permissive policy for law enforcement when you’ve got trained professionals that are there?” said Canadian County Sheriff Chris West.
Frontier City told News 4:
“Six Flags works hand in hand with law enforcement to ensure the safety and well-being of our guests and team members. We hire hundreds of police officers in cities across the country. As stated on our website and in-park signage, guests may not bring firearms into the park(s). The policy—which is standard for theme parks and many public venues—applies to all guests, including police officers on personal time and is in compliance with Oklahoma state law.”
Staff said they have the policy, first, to ensure no one is riding rides with a firearm and, two, because there’s no clear way to tell who is an off-duty police officer and who isn’t. They told us they have an armed police officer on staff and at the park at all times.
Members of law enforcement are pushing for the rule to change.
“Turning someone away because they don’t want guns on the premises that’s one thing… but turning police officers away, law enforcement officers away, sheriff’s deputies away because they don’t want them carrying fire arms… in my opinion’ that’s just not smart,” Flowers said.
They added their duty, as a police officer, is to be on the lookout all the time.
“We don’t just sit there and be focused on what’s going on in front of us. We’re doing what we’re trained to do. We’re scanning. We’re looking,” Flowers said.