State Excise Police making undercover patrols during NCAA tournament

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You might not be able to spot them until they show their badge and ask for you ID. Indiana State Excise Police will be out patrolling downtown during the NCAA tournament to make sure everyone has fun and stays safe. More than a dozen undercover officers will be roaming around Georgia Street and inside Lucas Oil Stadium looking for underage drinkers.

“We want people to feel safe in Indianapolis coming to events like this,” said Cpl. Travis Thickstun of Indiana State Excise Police.  “Using plain clothes officers to sort of mingle in the crowd where they might not know you’re police kind of helps us come across some more thing.”

Fox59 cameras came across one establishment cited for loitering after 11 minors were found inside their tent. Two of them were cited for underage drinking.

“In one case, it was a parent furnishing alcohol to an underage kid. In another case, it was an underage kid trying to buy alcohol with a fake ID,” said Thickstun.

“I think it’s good that they’re out here because things are bound to get a little rowdy,” said Nicole Thomas, a Michigan State University fan.

It’s a routine that’s proven effective for officers during big sporting events like March Madness and The Super bowl. Officers will be also checking to see if people will be bringing in alcohol into Lucas Oil Stadium.

Some out-of-town fans like seeing the police presence.

“I’m assuming it’ll be a little crazier after the games are done regardless of the outcome,” said Erika Weadock, a Michigan State University fan. “I mean, it’s just good to know. It makes you feel safe just to be outside and able to actually enjoy yourself.”

Police will be making their patrols until 1 a.m. or later if it gets busy.

“At this point, it’s a fairly calm, family-friendly atmosphere and we hope to keep it that way,” said Thickstun.

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