New security camera donated to city for Mini-Marathon, other events

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INDIANAPOLIS – Local authorities will deploy a new mobile security camera system, donated to the city in advance of this year’s One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Indianapolis 500.

The owners of Koorsen Fire & Security in Indianapolis donated the state-of-the-art camera, which includes a high-definition 360-degree view on a 30-foot mast.

The $20,000 donation was prompted, in part, by the increased concerns about security following the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon.

“After the bombings in Boston, I felt a responsibility not only to show support of those in Boston but to help protect the city of Indianapolis,” said company president Randy Koorsen. “This camera offers a new and convenient way to provide extra security for any or all of the events that Indianapolis hosts.”

The camera can more easily get into tight spaces and requires much less set-up time than the mobile cameras currently in use.

“Although Indianapolis has a substantial number of cameras in place, there is no way to guarantee absolute coverage,” said Skip Sampson, president of Koorsen Security Technologies. “This camera is mobile and can be moved quickly and easily from event to event – providing an extra level of protection for the thousands of conferences and events hosted in Indianapolis throughout the year.”

“Areas where a traditional camera is only used to seeing a small specific area, we can see what happened in every direction at that time,” said Koorsen’s Gannon Switzer.

City officials said they were thankful for the company’s donation, and they plan on using the cameras at other special events, such as the Indianapolis 500.

“It’s a tremendous help,” said Indianapolis Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons. “Cameras just play a very important in any event or any incident because it puts a different perspective on what you’re looking at.”

“Everyone is a little nervous now, and anything we can do to help the city make people feel safer, that’s our mission,” said Koorsen.

For runners, the cameras mean extra peace of mind.

“I’ve think they’ve done a good job to prepare for the race,” said Mini-Marathon participant Tiara O’Laughlin.

“Now they’re taking more precautions, which is nice to know,” said runner Bree Schreiner. “(It) makes me feel safer, too.”

The new camera system is just one of many security changes for the Mini-Marathon, including a “See Something, Say Something” tip line where people can report suspicious activity.

Organizers are also discouraging spectators from bringing backpacks or duffle bags to the event. Security will have the right to search any bags on race day. Only participating runners will be allowed at the starting line.

Organizers say no backpacks or other items should be left unattended. Security personnel will remove any such bags.

Race officials are also asking people who go to the race to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. They’ve set up a “See Something, Say Something” tip line at 1-877-226-1026, where people can alert authorities to anything out of the ordinary.