INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Hosting the entire NCAA men’s basketball tournament is an achievement few cities can match. Indianapolis is an old pro at hosting major sporting events, but what sets Indianapolis apart from other cities is security.
Indianapolis drivers can get used to being stopped for the next several weeks as Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers escort team buses to and from basketball courts.
Some of the devices that were used for spectator safety 11 years ago during the Super Bowl are in the hands of IMPD. A mobile device on a white, unlabeled Ford Explorer is one of those devices. Brian Mahone, the commander of the IMPD special unit, says the department has one of the leading radiological detection systems in the country.
“We have a research and development team that works with our bomb squad EOD unit. That’s pretty much all I’ll get into,” Mahone said.
For safety reasons, he would not say whether permanent radiological detection equipment is installed in the city. But said the whole city is covered.
I-Team 8 was told that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a history of using equipment that detects chemical, radiological and biological threats. Nobody would confirm whether the devices are still there.
As I-Team 8 recently reported, the department expanded its reach for video surveillance. The department wouldn’t say exactly how many public and private cameras are available to them. News 8 was told that the cameras were being monitored around the clock. The city does not use facial recognition software for cameras under its control.
All basketball and host hotels are surrounded by police and / or concrete barriers. Traffic in these areas is restricted. According to Mahone, IMPD has not yet received any credible threats.
“Well, the threat level is one of the things we will stay informed about. I mean, there is no credible threat, we don’t invite one, but again an event of this size, depending on what we call a threat and what someone else calls a threat are two different things, ”Mahone said.
None of the teams made specific security requests to the city. I-Team 8 has been told that officers in riot gear will not be patrolling the streets or being stationed at the venues. This is one of the recommendations in a review of the city’s response to downtown riot.
“You can’t look like an army of occupation because that’s not very inviting,” Mahone said.
This is the 8th final that Indianapolis has hosted four. Typically, planning for the Final Four takes about a year and a half. The city had two months to prepare for the entire tournament.