Police urge caution and common sense for downtown 4th of July celebration

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind - Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officials say they’re ready for tonight’s huge crowd as people come to take part in Independence Day celebrations.

Police officials are also asking citizens to be careful and use common sense when coming downtown for the IPL Freedom Fest celebration.

“We plan to be very visible,” said IMPD Sgt. Kendale Adams. “Bike units, mounted patrol, a number of entities that will be out to ensure that our folks in the downtown area have a safe July 4th.”

Visible, uniformed officers will also be backed up by undercover officers working in the crowds, which are expected to number between 250,000 and 300,000 people. State Police, Marion County Sheriffs and federal agencies will also have a presence in downtown Indianapolis.

Police say people coming into the downtown area should be ready for street closures around the area of the Indiana War Memorial. The closures started Tuesday morning and are continuing into the afternoon and evening.

Street closures beginning Tuesday at 10:00 am:

  • Michigan and North streets will be closed between Pennsylvania and Meridian streets

Street closures beginning Tuesday at 4:00 pm:

  • Meridian Street and Pennsyvianla Avenue

Street closures beginning Tuesday at 9:30 pm:

  • Delware and Pennsyvianla avenues (includes vehicle and pedestrian traffic)
  • Ohio and New York streets (includes vehicle and pedestrian traffic)

Public safety officials are asking members of the public not to bring weapons into the downtown area Tuesday night. They’re also asking people to not light off their own fireworks in the area.

Curfew for unsupervised juveniles will be enforced Tuesday night. The current Indianapolis curfew ordinance says:

  • Older teens 15 to 17 may not legally be in a public place unaccompanied by an adult from 1 to 5 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, after 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and before 5 a.m. Mondays through Fridays.
  • Children younger than 15 cannot legally be in a public place in the county from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. any day.
  • A child is exempted if being accompanied by a parent, guardian or specified adult; going to or returning from a job, school-sanctioned activity, religious event or permitted task such as a government or charity; traveling; involved in other activities outlined in writing; or it’s an emergency.

“Certainly we take a proactive approach to make sure those individuals know we are out and we are watching and have a full contingent of officers to mitigate any issues that may arise,” Adams said.

Indiana State Police also plan to have extra patrols on I-65 Tuesday night, watching for drivers who stop on the shoulder of the interstate to watch the downtown fireworks. They say stopping on the interstate to watch the fireworks is not only illegal, it can be extremely dangerous.