Police plan to increase security for Summer Celebration

INDIANAPOLIS - Four years ago, 10 people were injured in three separate shootings during Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration. Since then, it has been a much safer event with less violent crime and fewer arrests.

On Thursday, officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department laid out their plan to keep the public safe this year.

Metro police said the plan is pretty similar to the one they have used in the past couple of years. That’s because they say it is working.

"But i think it's important that you just understand we're taking it very seriously. It's the pride of the nation. Other cities have stopped having events like this because of the violence, but we're convinced that Expo for the last three years has been very safe," IMPD Chief Rick Hite said.

Police plan to use everything at their disposal, including undercover officers, the gang unit, state police, sheriff’s deputies and surveillance cameras that have played a major role in identifying suspects and criminals.

Hite made it clear that the message is to come in peace, and if you don’t, he said you can expect to spend the night in jail.

Police were contacting previous troublemakers to make sure they understand what is at stake.

Since 2010, Summer Celebration has become more family-oriented and police said it is crucial for parents to take responsibility for their kids’ safety.

"The last couple years we've been very fortunate. I think the message has gotten out there to parents that please don't let your 9, 10, 12-year-old child downtown alone at 2 o'clock in the morning and we've been very fortunate the last couple years we've had minimal to zero curfew arrests," IMPD Deputy Chief Mike Bates said.

Police said the community can expect to see officers on horseback, on bike and on foot. There will be heavy police presence all over the downtown area.

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