Security beefed up to keep Summer Celebration attendees safe downtown

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is in its final weekend, and public safety officials are promising extra manpower and resources to help keep attendees safe.

Multiple law enforcement agencies have been working on the safety plan that includes additional manpower, lighting and surveillance cameras.

“There are lots of different events and celebrities to see,” said Ericka Sanders, an expo attendee.

“It’s a good time to meet new people and reconnect with old friends,” said Lathen Hardy, another attendee.

Hundreds of police officers will have access to portable mounted lights and additional surveillance cameras. Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons said they will be focused on crowd management not crowd control.

“We’re going to have officers mid-block. We’re going to have them on the corners. We want them to reach out to everyone walking,” said Coons.

Volunteers with the Ten Point Coalition, a local anti-violence outreach group, are also promising its support as it has in years past. The group has been particularly active in recent weeks in the wake of several youth shootings.

Coons said they are sticking with what works; the safety plan basically matches what they executed last year with only a few additions.

Mayor Greg Ballard said the expected economic impact is $20 million thanks to a total crowd of more than 200,000 people who told Fox 59 they are excited about all of the educational and entertainment type opportunities that the expo offers.

“I may take my nephews to watch the celebrity basketball game,” said Tiffany Darden, an expo attendee.

“I’m just going to enjoy myself and not worry about the ‘what if’s'” said Darden’s co-worker, Linda Boyd.

The public is being urged to call Crimestoppers at 262-TIPS if they see any suspicious activity. The call can be placed anonymously. A tip can also be sent online to http://www.crimetips.org or through text message. Text “INDYCS” plus your tip to crimes (274637).