INDIANAPOLIS — Only a few teams remain in the NCAA Tournament, and there are still a number of fans populating the streets of downtown Indianapolis.
Police have been out in full force from the beginning and have had to respond to a few incidents.
“We have officers out in multiple areas so everyone can enjoy all the sights and everything Indianapolis has to offer right now,” said IMPD Officer Genae Cook.
The tournament in Indianapolis has presented a number of challenges which have caused the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to bring out some new tools and equipment.
“One of the ways of which we get around is using these gators. The gators are a way we can get to areas quickly,” said Cook.
Up to four officers can fit. It also allows them to bypass traffic and reach secure areas. It can pick up some serious speed.
“Let’s say you had someone injured, it would be very easy to get them here, and then get them to an ambulance,” explained Cook
The fans that are present are taking note of the increased presence.
“From patrol vehicles, they’re on bikes, they’re on horses or motorcycles,” said Razorback fan Linda Williams, of Springdale, Arizona.
These different modes of patrolling allow officers to respond to incidents more efficiently. Police have responded to several incidents, including shots fired near a downtown bar.
“We have had several incidents that have taken place outside the venue areas. IMPD has been there. They responded quickly, assessed the situation and resolved it,” said Cook.
Cook tells us that police investigated an incident along the canal downtown. She said officers responded quickly, and the out-of-town victim did not want to press charges.
Williams tells us since she’s been in town for the tournament, she has felt safe at all times.
“I mean, I can’t say I can feel any problems walking or hanging out from in the morning to night. It’s been easy, totally safe, absolutely totally safe here,” said Williams.
The tournament has also given officers a chance step out of their normal element.
“This is a fun environment right now. We’re all enjoying the amount of people that are downtown, people coming down to have fun. We give directions, we give restaurants ideas, everything under the sun,” said Cook.
Police are also using the “Relay App” to be able to respond to non-emergency incidents. They plan to keep the increased amount of officers as fewer teams move forward knowing that crowds will keep cheering on.