Safety officials tweaking their security plans to handle Indy 500 and NBA conference finals Sunday

More dogs, tougher cooler limits planned

INDIANAPOLIS - It will be a bigger Sunday than normal in Indianapolis with the Indy 500 and the Pacers hosting the NBA Eastern Conference finals, but after hosting a Super Bowl, police and Homeland Security officials are prepared.

Safety officials met Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to tweak security plans for the weekend.

There will be more police on duty than a normal race weekend, although an undisclosed number of officers will still be held in reserve, and they will be deployed somewhat differently.

Indianapolis Public Safety Director Troy Riggs said there appear to be no credible threats out there, but the Boston Marathon bombing has taught them that one or two individuals can always slip through the cracks.

"I think we've always had the same concerns," said Riggs. "Just one individual, acting alone. (We're) making sure that we're getting good intelligence data from our federal partners, but also working collaboratively with the local state and federal agencies."

One thing race fans and Pacers fans will notice is more dogs behind the scenes and out among the crowds.

"The dogs that you do see are more of a people-style dog," said Indianapolis Homeland Security Director Gary Coons. "They work at airports. They work at different venues. They're around people. They socialize in that environment. They're trained in that environment. So these dogs are quick to pick up on scents that, it may be an explosive or some type of accelerant that could be on someone. That's what they're trained to do."

The other big thing fans might notice is security guards rejecting coolers at the Speedway.

Although the official limit has actually been increased to 18 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches, track officials said this year they will enforce that limit and require fans who violate it to take the coolers back to their cars.

Although nobody's tipping their hand about the exact nature of their plans, police officials said they're very confident that things will go off without a hitch.

Print this article Back to Top