May 25, 2023

Local law enforcement and other agencies ready for race day

500 crowd (file photo)

500 crowd (file photo)

More than a quarter of a million people will file into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Public safety plans are led by a partnership of numerous city, state and federal agencies.  Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief of Operations Josh Barker said when it comes to the 500, they have experience on their side.

“We are used to doing this every day on the same holiday weekend, and so that allows us to have a very good historical perspective on what that public safety need is,” Barker said.

Fair weather is expected this weekend, and Barker said that makes it easier to implement plans.  Large crowd concerns include traffic, medical issues and other safety incidents.

Department heads will be on site at a command center to coordinate between agencies.

Barker said IMPD is ready to cover all areas of the city.

“We have come up with a staffing plan that allows us to have the appropriate amount of resources at IMS without compromising our ability to police the neighborhoods in Indianapolis,” Barker said. “I think it's important for the community to understand that.”

Race day is Sunday.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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