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Indy security concerns rise after England concert bombing

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A terror attack in England is prompting heightened security concerns in Indiana.

The message from local police ahead of Memorial Day weekend: Go out and enjoy yourself but report anything suspicious to police.

The staff at Bankers Life Fieldhouse released a statement saying, due to the Manchester attack, they will heighten security for Friday night’s Neil Diamond concert. Staff members said it’s safer to keep their full security plans secret.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security officials said they’re keeping a close watch on local, state and federal intelligence and, if they need to change anything for Saturday’s IPL 500 Festival Parade or other weekend events, they are prepared.

“If you’re coming downtown for an event, we believe that you’re safe,” said Commander Chris Bailey of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. “This is the safest big-city downtown in the country, and we’re proud of that.”

Indianapolis Motor Speedway security staff said they are working every day with local, state and federal police. This year’s Indianapolis 500 earned the second-highest federal security rating, known as a SEAR 2. That means the security team will use federal resources — including manpower — but they also need your help.

“We need everybody’s eyes and ears, so it’s really important: See something, say something. That’s big for us,” the speedway’s senior director of safety Mike Bates said.

Bates, along with other security officials who spoke to 24-Hour News 8, said they cannot disclose most of the Indy 500 security plans.

Officers will be watching street cameras throughout the city, including the cameras near the speedway.

Bill Jewell is a die-hard race fan who said he’s concerned about security everywhere. That didn’t stop him from buying his Indy 500 ticket Tuesday.

“I think the Indianapolis Motor Speedway probably does a better job than most places,” Jewell said. “They’ve got it down with security and crowd control better than just about any place I’ve ever been.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May said raising the country’s terror threat level and deploying soldiers to patrol key sites a “proportionate and sensible response” to the suicide bombing at a Manchester concert venue. May said Tuesday night that the “callous and the cowardly” Monday attack that killed 22 people and injured another 59, many critically, justified rolling out the added security measures.

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