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IMPD to increase presence downtown during Big Ten Tournament, March Madness

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thousands of basketball fans will arrive in downtown Indianapolis this week for the Big Ten Tournament at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, and next week, it will be time for a little bit of March Madness.

Indianapolis is now only two days away from the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, which ends Sunday.

The Circle City will then play host to the First and Second Rounds of the 2022 NCAA Tournament on March 17 and 19.

The events draw thousands of fans from across the country, meaning more police presence, especially downtown.

“It takes everyone to put this together — our businesses, our city, a whole enterprise,” said Brian Mahone, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s special operations commander. “But, (the police presence) shouldn’t be overbearing for what the average fan will actually notice.”

Mahone says the department will be using some new cameras to help keep a close eye on the crowds.

“They’re a great benefit to us,” Mahone said. “We can monitor different crowd sizes, our traffic patterns throughout downtown, and it gives us a better idea [of what’s going on] and also helps in our scenario best training.”

Officers also work with the organizations Downtown Indy and Visit Indy to connect with businesses near Gainbridge Fieldhouse to provide resources for security.

“We bring them into meetings to let them know about road closures, what we’re seeing, and what the event is going to look like. There’s a lot of ancillary events that might be happening either on Georgia Street or another venue that’s outside that area,” Mahone said.

Mahone says they will also have officers out in plainclothes or undercover to keep everyone safe. They’re also paying to attention what’s going on at other places.

“There’s a lot of different scenarios that pop up and we have to stay on top of that,” Mahone said.

IMPD will also keep an eye on the weather to make sure they have an area for large crowds should they be inside and need to get indoors.

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