INDIANAPOLIS, IND. - As race fans count down the seconds until the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, law enforcement officers are gearing up for the big race too.
Nearly 300,000 people are expected to be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race day, bringing excitement, massive crowds, heavy traffic and increased security.
“We will have officers doing every aspect of police work. We will have undercover officers monitoring the crowd, traffic outside, general policing and security,” says Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway everyday leading up to the race, preparing for the 100th running. Police are asking race fans to leave all of their valuables at home and to arrive to the track at least two hours earlier than usual.
“It is a lot less frustrating if you can get into the track early, instead of being late or being stuck in traffic. We are going to work hard and avoid that, but you can imagine more than 300,000 people…that is a significant amount of people that we have to safely get in and out of the track,” says Perrine.
Although there are thousands more expected at the 100th running, Indiana State Police will use the same traffic patterns as previous years.
“We will have very strict traffic patterns in effect…all roads are going to lead you to the track and all roads are going to lead you out of the track. Even though it may not be the way you wanted to go, we are going to get you here,” says Perrine.
As police do their part, officers are asking the public to help out as well.
“We need people to let us know if they see something suspicious, so that we can investigate and make sure everything and everyone stays safe,” says Sgt. Perrine.
If you need to report an issue at IMS, police say you can speak with one of the uniformed officers stationed around the track or dial 911.