INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 17, 2015) - The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) announced Friday plans for extra security and patrols on the weekend of the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration.
A free concert was scheduled for Friday evening, but was canceled after strong storms moved through Indianapolis, causing stage damage and electrical problems.
The expo is celebrating 45 years in Indianapolis, while similar events have failed in other cities. One reason for the success is the planning from multiple city departments. That includes a strategic policing plan throughout the weekend.
“The planning process is quite extensive, like it is for any other large event," explained Deputy Chief Mike Bates of Homeland Security.
With more than 250,000 people expected throughout the weekend, patrols will be increased all over the city in areas like downtown, Broad Ripple, and Fountain Square.
“One incident does not dictate or tell a story for an area. Since the incident last July, we've worked very closely with the community groups and business in Broad Ripple to change some of our policing tactics," said IMPD Commander Chris Bailey.
The mounted patrol, traffic patrols, undercover officers, and security cameras will all aid in keeping visitors and residents safe. The Ten Point Coalition will also be patrolling, sending a message to teens and parents.
“Not just dropping off your kids, or allowing them to come unsupervised, but we again, encourage you to come and supervise your children as they come down and enjoy this great celebration," said Reverend Charles Harrison.
IMPD Chief Richard Hite said the success of the weekend will be dependent on cooperation from the community. He said IMPD has used a different style approach to policing.
"If you watch us work, we’re in the woodwork. We’re not vigilant and standing there as if we’re an armed encampment. It’s important to be cordial and when it’s time to conduct business, it’s time to conduct business," Chief Hite said.
Teen curfews will be enforced throughout the weekend. Teens ages 14 years and younger must be home by 11:00 p.m.. The curfew for teens over the age of 14 is 1 a.m.