Safety a priority as thousands flock to Big Ten Tournament downtown

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thousands of people are expected to be in downtown Indianapolis for the Big Ten Tournament this weekend.

With any large event, police say safety and security remain a top priority.

It’s hard to miss the madness surrounding the Big Ten Tournament in downtown Indianapolis.

With games happening inside Bankers Life and activities on Georgia Street, federal, state and local law enforcement are keeping a close watch for any suspicious activity.

“Our main goal is for everyone to have a good time and have fun in this great city and go home safe,” said Gary Coons, Director of Homeland Security.

Coons said with a large event they want to remind people to be extra vigilant.

Officers will be out patrolling the streets undercover and in uniform, Coons said. They will also be watching from above with security cameras.

“The security here in the city you could tell from the tournament has been ramped up,” said Stevann Waithe, visiting from Baltimore. “You know there’s a lot of police presence around so [I’m] feeling pretty great.”

Waithe said this is his first trip to Indianapolis. Even though he’s from Baltimore, he’s cheering for his alma mater Michigan.

“[The] Midwest is always known for the friendliness of everyone else, so I’ve been feeling pretty good walking around; no troubles at all,” said Waithe.

He said everyone in the Circle City have been welcoming.

Other first time visitors feel the same way.

Brittney Renehan said she’s not too concern about safety, but she knows you can never be too careful.

“Coming from Baltimore, Maryland, you know, it’s something we’re a little more aware of and being in Indianapolis I think we’re always conscious our safety,” said Renehan. “But I haven’t felt at all threatened.”

Other events are scheduled for downtown Indy Saturday, such as the Blarney Bash on Georgia Street and several 5K races.

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