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March Madness safety plan includes app, cameras and public safety ambassadors

Hogsett, IMPD discuss initiatives at news conference
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Posted at 10:04 AM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 11:47:07-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis will take a layered approach to public safety this month when the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments come to the city.

Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department leaders discussed how the city will work to keep residents and visitors safe during a news conference Monday morning outside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The efforts include 50 additional cameras as part of the b-link program, public safety ambassadors patrolling the downtown area and a new partnership with Relay, an app that will allow residents and visitors to report non-emergency issues.

“When fans and teams from across the country arrive here in Indianapolis, they will find a downtown that is fully prepared for the health and for the safety of both our guests and our residents," Hogsett said. “These three initiatives, among many others, will be keeping visitors safe and informed in this historic month for our downtown and for our city.”

The Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments begin this week, while the first NCAA tournament games in Indianapolis will tip-off March 19.

IMPD will also deploy a slightly higher number of uniformed officers downtown throughout the month.

“We have been coordinating with event staff, as well as public safety and law enforcement partners over recent months in planning for the festivities in March, and we are prepared and eager to get back to what we do best in downtown Indy — welcoming all to our city,” IMPD Deputy Chief of Operations Josh Barker said.

The Relay app, which was launched in February by Indianapolis-based High Alpha, can be downloaded for free on Apple and Android devises. People using the app can upload photos while reporting situations to police, view a map of other reports in the area and receive alerts in real-time.

“Adding Relay to our public safety plan for the month of March represents another effort to modernize our department, allowing us to use today’s technology to engage directly with residents and visitors and work together to keep everyone safe,” Barker said.

IMPD began a pilot program with the Relay app last October in the North District.

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Watch the news conference below: