INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - There was an incredible amount of work that went in to keeping the roughly 400,000 fans at this year’s Indy 500 safe.
The stakes were incredibly high at the 100th running of the Indy 500, but Wednesday, at the Indiana Counter-Terrorism and Security Council meeting, there was a resounding pat on the back for all the law enforcement involved in this year’s race.
“It’s one of the biggest venues of the year and so in terms of a potential target, it certainly has that potential to be a threat,” said Major General Corey Carr of the Indiana National Guard.
This year’s Indy 500 was arguably, according to security experts, the perfect target for a potential terror attack. But months of planning and teamwork between nearly 60 law enforcement agencies made this year’s race a major success.
“The race and planning for the race went very well. What the briefing from the meeting tells me is it went as planned,” said David Kane, the Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
Many involved in preparing for the hundredth running were present at Wednesday’s Council meeting. Indiana State Police shared some stats, like U.S. border control having two helicopters circulate overhead, and the FBI and Secret Service monitoring social media through the event to keep tabs on potential terrorist activity.
But after the crowds cleared and the 200 laps were over, there was not a single credible threat and overall criminal activity was kept minimal.
“We live in a dynamic world and threats will never be eliminated. What we do is manage risk and manage threats and so one of the ways you do that is through the planning process,” said Kane.
Security planning for the race began in January, said officials, and all those present Wednesday agreed, had it not been for partnerships that began months ago, Sunday’s race may not have been as successful as it was.