FLORENCE — With Country Thunder being one of Pinal County’s marquee events, the amount of security and law enforcement involved in keeping the event safe for all attendees is significant. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb was in attendance, and he set the tone in making sure people had fun but were safe while doing so.

Lamb spoke about his observations of the music festival, saying that since the festivities began last Thursday, he was happy with the level of safety and credited his fellow members of law enforcement for keeping everything under control.

“We love when Country Thunder comes to town,” he said. “It’s good for the county, the people that are out here love it as well. We have had relatively few issues so we are happy about that, and I am glad that (Country Thunder) continues to come out here.”

As Lamb mentioned, many people from across the country came to Florence to experience the festival. With the attendance total around 35,000 people over the course of the four-day event, the Pinal County sheriff made it clear he wanted everyone to have a good time but be safe while doing so.

Lamb said that he wanted to take the approach of wanting attendees to have fun and have the deputies get involved only when things got out of hand.

“I am a freedom guy, so I like to have as little government restriction as possible. And frankly, we feel like that works and people will behave better,” Lamb said.

“We are not over-regulating people, and we encourage them to have fun. But, don’t overdrink, don’t drink and drive and be respectful of others. And I think people do it, and they can come out here and not have to worry about having to deal with law enforcement unless they really get out of line.”

According to Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lauren Reimer, there were five arrests made throughout the four days of Country Thunder. The figure does not include DUI enforcement off-property.

Lamb said that the biggest thing he hoped to avoid was people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

He said that keeping the streets of Florence and Pinal County safe is incredibly important to him and noted that it is crucial to him that people were not getting behind the wheel when they were in no shape to drive.

“I think the campsites have been relatively OK. But DUIs are something that we deal with every time. However, we have seen a lot of designated drivers this year,” said Lamb.

“We have a lot of cars flowing in and out of the area, so we are making sure that the people who are leaving this venue are not putting anyone else at risk,” he continued. “That is of utmost importance for us.”

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David Church is a reporter covering Eloy, Arizona City and sports. He can be reached at dchurch@pinalcentral.com.

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