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New safety center opens in time for Super Bowl

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A new center built to help keep Indianapolis and Marion County residents safe opened Wednesday on the east side.

Mayor Greg Ballard was joined by Public Safety Director Frank Straub and Division of Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons for the grand opening of the Regional Operations Center (ROC).

The new center, located at 200 N. Shadeland Avenue, will be used to coordinate emergency plans for large-scale incidents at major events, such as the upcoming Super Bowl XLVI, the Indiana Black Expo and the Indianapolis 500.  Additionally, the center will prepare for natural disaster events such as tornadoes. At the grand opening, the center’s state-of-the art technology was showcased, and plans for evacuating the Lucas Oil Stadium in case of an emergency were presented.

“We are very proud of this new facility and hope that it serves as a national model of partnership between local, state and federal authorities,” said Mayor Ballard. “The creation and opening of the ROC is an integral part of our ongoing, proactive plan to ensure the safety of the public.”

The center is located inside a 76,000-square foot building, formally the Eastgate shopping mall. The building will also house offices for the Regional Department of Homeland Security.  Additionally, the facility will include a Real Time Crime Center/Situational Awareness Center which will monitor crime, intelligence and cameras 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

“The creation and opening of the ROC is an integral part of our ongoing, proactive plan to ensure the safety of the public,” said Straub in a news release statement. “It demonstrates our commitment to our residents to do the very best we can to keep them safe, to keep them engaged, and contribute to the City’s economic revitalization. The ROC was designed with the community in mind. In that regard, a large community room was designed to host community meetings and events as well as specialized training sessions such as the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will also house their Intelligence Operations Center in the ROC, to prepare in case of a terrorist attack or man-made event.