IMPD increases police presence downtown for Gen Con

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Tens of thousands of people are in the Circle City this weekend for the 50th annual Gen Con. While the four-day event is all about gaming and creativity, IMPD officers are focused on ensuring the large crowds are safe.

Metropolitan Police have officers patrolling the area around the convention center by car, on foot and on bike.  Department leaders say bikes allow cops to better maneuver around crowds.

“There’s a huge large contingency of officers,” said Commander Phil Burton, from IMPD’s downtown district. “They will be very well protected downtown. There are a lot of officers in addition to what we usually have in our bar district.”

In light of crimes in other cities where large crowds were targeted, IMPD is coordinating with the local Department of Homeland Security.

“Because of that, we take extra precautions, err on the side of caution, to ensure everyone is safe,” Burton said. “You’ll see certain barriers put in place in order to prevent those types of tragedies from happening.”

Barriers are noticeable on both ends of Georgia Street, where there is heavy foot traffic as Gen Con attendees travel from the convention center.

IMPD is also in communication with hotels, some of which are sold out due to Gen Con visitors.  Burton said they are asking hotels to inform guests to be vigilant while having fun this weekend.

Gen Con visitors say they are excited to participate in the milestone year for the convention.

“We came from Columbus, Ohio and we want to be here because it’s Gen Con,” Shaun Reid said. “It’s the 50th anniversary, no reason not to be here!”

“They always do a good job taking care of us downtown with the police,” said Kiersten Hyten.