WESTFIELD, Ind. – With the countdown under a week to go until the start of Colts' training camp, security is beginning to take shape at Grand Park.
The 2018 season for the Indianapolis Colts begins Thursday, July 26, with training camp. It marks the first of a 10-year agreement with the NFL franchise and the city of Westfield to hold camp annually at the large sports complex.
Westfield's mobile command center, called Command Vehicle 308, to match similar vehicles in the county, is now parked at the facility and is scheduled to stay there throughout camp, which ends August 18.
The command center is owned by Hamilton County, and was recently the backup dispatch center, according to Westfield Fire Department Deputy Chief Joe Lyons. The city has been given the recreation vehicle for three years and will be responsible for maintaining it.
Lyons said the city has already invested several thousand dollars in installing updated equipment to get the mobile command center up and running. It's only been used for training purposes up until training camp.
"Allows us to monitor communication with the people who are outside the facility and allows us to dispatch personnel to the correct location to the correct field," Lyons said.
Lyons said the mobile command center will be used by firefighters, police and EMS throughout the next few weeks.
Westfield police are also preparing for the thousands of fans expecting to come to town. Fans can already print free tickets to camp here. City of Westfield Director of Communications, Vicki Duncan Gardner, said latest figures have tickets printed range between 50,000 and 59,000.
Lt. Mike Seagraves said fans should expect security checks, just as if they were going to an NFL game.
"The Colts have requested, and I believe it’s an NFL policy, for clear bags within the practice area," said Seagraves. "A fan may go to a game on a Sunday and they are required to have that same clear bag here at the practice."
Fans are also not allowed to bring water bottles or outside food. No pets are allowed at the park.
Seagraves said police will have a presence throughout Grand Park, and volunteers who have graduated from the police department's citizens academy will be on hand to help fans get around the park.
There are also free parking options for camp. While a vehicle can park at Grand Park for $5, a free shuttle is available for anyone who wants to park nearby at Shelby Materials, located near S.R 32 and Spring Mills Road.