HOMELAND SECURITY: “We want people to feel safe…”

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By Eric Levy
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 18, 2014) — Security is one of the top priorities for this year’s Summer Celebration in Downtown Indianapolis.

Important on a weekend like this are the trained eyes and ears of law enforcement. Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Marion County sheriff deputies on bikes and on foot are will be working overtime to keep the peace. Same thing is going on inside, what’s known as, the Incident Command Vehicle.

“We’re able to watch what’s around us during this type of event. We use it for any large event,” said Gary Coons, Homeland Security Chief.

The mega vehicle is packed with all sorts of computer technology. Experts can watch a big screen for social media posts containing certain keywords.

“Anything that you may have ‘shoot’ in it, ‘bullets’, ‘kill’, ‘I’m gonna be on the downtown canal, gonna start a fight’,” Coons said.

If necessary, law enforcement officers can see where the posts are coming from with locator software, and go find the author of a suggestive tweet and end a problem before it starts.

“It is a partnership, from local to state to federal,” Coons said. “State Police have always been great partners of ours for any event.”

With all the folks expected to come downtown to have fun this weekend, protection is key.

“We want people to feel safe, to come down and have a good time, but we want be out of their way so they can have a good time. But we wanna let those that may want to cause trouble or cause harm, we’re not gonna tolerate it and we’re here to respond to it,” Coons said.

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