Indianapolis—Visitors to Indianapolis this weekend will see more police officers than ever deployed to keep the peace downtown during the 27th Annual Circle City Classic.
Drawing up new policing plans after last July's Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration exploded in gunfire and left ten people wounded, IMPD will assign 100 additional officers downtown Friday night and a total of 300 officers throughout the day on Saturday.
"This year for Classic we're going to have roughly the same number we have for the Summer Celebration in July," said IMPD Deputy Chief Mike Bates.
Bates said the city wants to avoid the kind of chaos when a teenager allegedly started firing when he spotted rival gang members on the streets of downtown hours after the IBE events closed their doors at the Convention Center for the night.
"We're actually going to deploy them mid-block. Obviously the shootings were mid-block and I think a lot of that was because there wasn't a huge amount of police in uniform presence," said Deputy Chief Bates.
Indiana Black Expo officials say a task force established after the summer shootings has come up with valuable advice on crowd control issues for this weekend's Classic and next summer's IBE Celebration.
"We are continuing to work with law enforcement," said IBE spokeswoman Elizabeth Hart.
"We have over 100 volunteers who will be stepping up and walking the streets of downtown Indianapolis through the weekend to make sure all our visitors are safe."
A prayer service launches the Classic weekend Wednesday followed by a Carmel-Warren Central High School football game at Lucas Oil Stadium Friday night. Saturday morning at 10 o'clock the Classic parade will step off downtown followed by the football game between Tennessee State and North Carolina A & T State.