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Kennywood security enhancements implemented following shooting

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

Following last weekend’s shooting, Kennywood security enhancements will be implemented for the Pittsburgh area park’s Phantom Fest, including additional police officers, a new bag policy, and an updated chaperone policy.

Kennywood security enhancements

Along with the announcement about enhanced security, Kennywood posted the following statement about the shooting last weekend:

The Kennywood team keeps those injured Saturday in our thoughts. As we prepare to open this weekend, please know we are fully committed to enhancing our operations to allow guests to enjoy a safe, fun experience. We will continue consulting with law enforcement on additional safety measures to implement. We thank the Allegheny County and West Mifflin Police Departments, our Team Members, and our Guests for the continued support. 

Kennywood Security Enhancements:

Kennywood security enhancements
  • Perimeter Enhancements – Park teams have cut down trees along the fence line bordering Route 837 to improve sight lines. New flood lights and security cameras are being installed for better monitoring, and ongoing security patrols in that area will increase significantly.
  • Increased Police Support – In addition to the park’s security team, the number of police officers contracted through local law enforcement agencies for each night of Phantom Fall Fest will be doubled, resulting in a more visible police presence at the entrance and throughout the park. In addition, Kennywood’s leadership will be clearly visible in red jackets.
Kennywood security enhancements
  • Chaperone Policy Updates – Guests aged 17 and under must be accompanied at all times by an adult at least 21 years of age (with valid ID) during Phantom Fall Fest.
  • Park Entrance Policies – A new weapons detection system was installed this spring, and the park’s prior screening system has been removed to eliminate guest confusion. New signage will inform guests they are entering a security screening area. While the new system can screen bags and individuals via cameras and metal detection to identify those needing further inspection, additional spot-checking of bags will be implemented as a precautionary measure.
Kennywood security enhancements
  • New Bag Policy – Only bags within the dimensions of 8” x 5” x 1” (as well as medical and diaper bags) are permitted. Outside food and beverages are not allowed, except for one unsealed bottle of water or for guests with special dietary needs.
  • Facial Coverings – Masks that cover some or all of a person’s face are not permitted after 6 p.m. The only exceptions are surgical masks or N95/KN95 masks as recommended as a precaution against COVID-19. If masks of this nature are worn, they must be free from additional coverings, including, but not limited to, fake blood, makeup, or coloring.

Click here for details about safety and security policies.

Updates regarding the shooting:

  • The park was using new screening technology that doesn’t require people to remove items from their pockets, and Kennywood officials said the metal detectors were working the night of the shooting.
  • Officials said the shooting happened after two groups were fighting inside the park; however, detectives said they haven’t found anything to confirm that any of the victims were directly involved in the altercation.
  • Detectives are still reviewing video evidence and following up on numerous tip line calls.
  • Allegheny County police said they’re still looking for the suspect (the weapon was recovered on the night of the shooting).

Phantom Fest takes place on select dates through Oct. 30, 2022. Click here for more information.

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