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Darien Lake experience is marred by police actions

After attending over 500 concerts, including dozens at Darien Lake, my experience at the Bob Dylan concert has led me to the decision to never attend a concert at Darien Lake again.

I fully support everyone having a safe time at concerts, but the police tactics used at Darien Lake do not accomplish that. Being harassed and searched as my car entered the lot was like nothing I have ever experienced. I’d rather deal with customs – less of a hassle and they are justified for the work they do.

I am employed with a law enforcement agency in Erie County and I am over the age of 30. Why the police needed to comb through my car and search through my cooler is beyond me? Then they continued to interrogate me with questions simply because the crowd was small and they had the time to do it, or perhaps it was because I was wearing a tie-dye shirt. Who knows? While I cooperated, I felt like my civil liberties were being violated.

The police should be present to serve and protect. Who are they protecting by busting small-time marijuana users and underage drinkers? Meanwhile, all the odorless “hard-drug” users, “pill-poppers” and binge drinkers are free to operate as normal. (Less than a minute after I parked a “dealer” offered my group narcotics.)

It would provide me with more comfort knowing the police caught intoxicated drivers fleeing or coming to the concert. That is actually a form of protection. According to the police reports after concerts at this venue, there are only a handful of arrests for DWI or DUI. I’m really supposed to believe everyone leaves those concerts sober?

In addition, the police should stick to the parking lot rows and actually catch the dealers, or people selling alcohol to underage drinkers, and/or people fighting. Clearly, this is nothing more than a money grab for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, and I am not sure why Darien Lake chooses to participate. I did not feel any safer with the presence of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department.

Philip Reinagel

Hamburg