Pacers playoff game, Indy 500 mean dual security focus

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A busy weekend in the Circle City means police and public safety officials will have their hands full from the track to downtown Indianapolis.

For the Indianapolis 500, multiple agencies will work around the clock to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

“We work with our state and federal partners, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Police, the FBI, all of them—the secret service, they’re all there as a partner,” said Chief Gary Coons of the Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security.

Public safety officials have spent months coming up with their security plan, and they’ll use everything in their arsenal.

“We’ll be utilizing all the tools we have available, including our K9’s,” said Sgt. Richard Myers with Indiana State Police.

To help do all that planning, law enforcement authorities used a new simulator that models potential crowd behavior during an evacuation. The program shows a minute-by-minute breakdown of how people respond.

“It is all hands on deck for the Speedway Police Department. Everyone, every employee we have, works during race time,” said Lt. Trent Theobald with Speedway police.

Security concerns aren’t limited to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Downtown Indianapolis will host its share of events from the IPL 500 Festival Parade on Saturday to game three of the Eastern Conference Finals featuring the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat on Sunday.

Even private security firms have been called in to lend a hand.

“We still need the help of everyone at these events. That if they see something, to let one of them know,” Coons said.

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