Cedar Point Amusement Park Just Made a Big Change Behind the Scenes
Although it doesn’t have the same name recognition as Disney or Universal, Cedar Fair is one of the largest amusement park companies in the world. It has more than 20 locations across North America, including Knott’s Berry Farm, but Cedar Fair’s crown jewel will always be Ohio’s Cedar Point, one of the best parks in the world for roller coaster enthusiasts. The park has been embroiled in its fair share of controversy lately, surrounding how the park handles its security, and a big shift is now underway as the Cedar Point police lose their policing authority.
Until now, Cedar Point has handled security and policing issues with its own full-time staff known as the Cedar Point Police. However, the Sandusky Registry reports that the organization is now set to hand over policing duties to the Sandusky, Ohio Police Department.
Cedar Point’s transition to Sandusky’s font will take time and is expected to be completed sometime next year. This will require the hiring and training of several new agents at Sandusky PD and Cedar Point will pay for this cost. Cedar Point Police will remain in place, but strictly as security personnel.
There has apparently been a review of how Cedar Point manages its security since 2019. An independent third party conducted a review of Cedar Point’s security from July 2021 and according to the park, this change puts Cedar Point’s security more in line with how it is managed at other Cedar Fair properties.
Cedar Point police have come under intense scrutiny in recent days. Earlier this year it was reported that 27 sexual assaults involving Cedar Point employees had been reported over the past five years, resulting in only three arrests. Additionally, the Sandusky Register says it made various Cedar Point Police public records requests which were systematically ignored. The newspaper claimed the Cedar Fair police simply did not perform the way police departments are required to. This led the newspaper to file a lawsuit against Cedar Point, although the lawsuit was later dismissed.
It is quite rare for an amusement park to have its own police department. Even Walt Disney World doesn’t have that. Whereas Disney pays for many of its own services through the Reedy Creek Improvement Districthe primarily pays the Florida Orange County Sheriff’s Office for its policing needs, though he hires off-duty deputies who work inside the complex on their own time.
Cedar Fair had a tough 2021 where the company lost $48 million, largely due to slow closings and openings due to the global pandemic. The company’s financial difficulties are probably the cause of a SeaWorld’s unsolicited takeover bid earlier this year. At the end of the day, SeaWorld deal failed for undisclosed reasons.