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Public safety leaders to discuss Final Four security

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Public safety leaders will gather at the City-County Building Tuesday morning to discuss security plans for the Final Four this weekend.

Indianapolis Homeland Security, Department of Public Safety, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indianapolis Fire Department and more will all be on hand to talk about a plan that has been in development for months.

Indianapolis Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons sat down with 24-Hour News 8 to preview the plan. IDHS started working on the plan by looking at Dallas, last year’s host city, to see what Indianapolis could learn from its safety plan.

Law enforcement will be inside a security hub at Georgia and Pennsylvania monitoring everything happening downtown from Lucas Oil Stadium all the way to White River State Park.Crowds will be the major concern this year because even though the city hosted the Final Four in 2010 and Superbowl in 2012, this year the March Madness Music Festival is free. The big-name artists are sure to draw even thousands of people, giving police more to monitor and more traffic to control. There is also the concern of protests or rallies over the new Religious Freedom Law that may interfere with festivities or block already congested traffic. Law enforcement is constantly monitoring social media for not only threats of violence, but plans for rallies or protests. The most important thing Coons said fans can do is to speak up if something doesn’t seem right in person, or on social media. 

“We are there. We’re asking people if they do have an issue, just to tell a police officer, tell a firefighter, tell an EMT. Whoever you see – a paramedic that may be out there – [tell them] that you need assistance or something just doesn’t seem right. Just let them know and we’ll take care of it,” said Coons.

Law enforcement will also be at a security station in White River State Park, at Lucas Oil and at the Regional Operations Center on the city’s east side. Homeland Security, IMPD, the FBI, ATF and other local police departments from all over the state will be in Indianapolis making sure everything goes smoothly.

Right now, Chief Coons says there is no reason for fans to be worried about their safety. Law enforcement is constantly monitoring social media for not only threats of violence, but plans for rallies or protests.

“We have no significant threats, we have no credible threats, that has come forth. We work closely with our FBI and our state and fusion center and they continue to monitor any kind of threat that could come to an event like this and there are no credible threats at this time,” said Coons.