Ahead of busy sports weekend downtown, mayor and police chief hold public safety walk

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With several big events taking place this week, Indianapolis police are working hard to keep downtown safe for out of town visitors.

Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Joe Hogsett and IMPD Chief Bryan Roach got together for a public safety walk downtown.

Over the next five days, an estimated 31,000 basketball fans will walk around downtown to watch the women’s Big Ten basketball tournament, including four first time visitors from Penn State.

“Honestly it’s a great city. It’s really calm. It’s perfectly nice,” said Ryan Thornton.

“Downtown is really nice. I feel really safe,” said Michael Karschner.

Michael, Ryan and their friends say extra police patrols downtown definitely make them feel protected and free from harm.

“I feel pretty safe. There’s definitely been enough police presence,” said Colton Peters.

In addition to the tournament, thousands more will show up downtown this week for the NFL Combine Experience.

That’s why with mounted patrols, Chief Roach, Mayor Hogsett and a few dozen others chose to walk through a neighborhood on Meridian just south of Lucas Oil Stadium to talk about public safety.

“It wasn’t a coincidence we did it today with all the public safety things going on. You’ll see more public officials out this weekend with all the things going on downtown,” said Roach.

The pair began their public safety walks last year, focusing on traditionally high crime neighborhoods. On the other hand, violence in downtown is rare. In 2017, there were three homicides downtown, with only one downtown murder in all of 2016.

“We police every neighborhood, but everyone has different issues. This is not an area that has seen a lot of violence and some neighborhoods we’ve visited have,” said Roach.

“The truth is downtown is one of the safest areas of our community and rightfully so because we have more visitors,” said Hogsett.

Both the tournament games and the combine will continue throughout the weekend.

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