IMPD prepares for large crowds downtown ahead of Indy 500 weekend

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --- Large crowds are expected downtown during the next few days and it's not just race fans that are packing the Circle City.

Many race fans are arriving early and spending the next few days downtown enjoying bars and restaurants.

On Thursday and Friday, conventions and high school graduations are expected to draw more than 18,000 people downtown.

Because of the large crowds, even before race weekend, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officers will have a visible presence in popular downtown areas.

"We want them to feel like it’s at home for them as well, so we want them to be able to enjoy the city as a whole," said IMPD Officer Aaron Hamer.

IMPD will have officers in the bike and motorcycle units, as well as the mounted horse patrol and undercover officers in plain clothes. IMPD will be working with local and federal partners to ensure safety for large-scale incidents.

Officers are encouraging you to say something if you see something suspicious. They also say you can help protect yourself and your belongings, but not becoming easy targets for thieves searching for expensive items.

"Follow the normal safety tips. Leave your stuff locked up. If you have electronics, make sure they’re not visible," Hamer said.