With the Indy 500 race at its 100th running, extra layers of security measures have been set in place to ensure that everything would be in order. A total of 50 law enforcement agencies would be collaborating for the contingency measures at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway event. They are expecting roughly around 400,000 race fans will flock the event this year. Paul Dvorak of the Secret Service and Mike Bates, who is senior director of the safety and security for IMS together with IMS president Doug Boles; stressed out these important security protocols at the press conference held Wednesday:
- Equipment that can scan license plates as they enter the venue would be provided by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in the hope to be able to screen the crowd and catch fugitives or stolen vehicles.
- Public safety representatives including firefighter, medics, and police officers at the IMS is seen to increase by 20%. Increased visibility and assistance should help beef up security protocols.
- Security checks are stricter this year with people and all sorts of vehicles being stopped for random checks which will be conducted before, during, and after the race. Also, K9 officers or police dogs will be in place to sniff and detect potential threats as they go.
- ESG Security would be inspecting all coolers and bags and tagged upon entry to ensure that no drugs or other illegal paraphernalia would be brought to the event. Do note that coolers which are larger than the prescribed size of 14 inches x 14 inches x 18 inches are not allowed inside the venue.
- Flight restrictions would be imposed for aircrafts on the IMS at least one hour before and after the race.
The enormous size of the crowd and the remarkable IMS race itself is a potential breeding ground for terroristic threats and activities. Federal agencies have actively contributed by providing helicopters, K9 officers, additional staff, medics, communication devices, cameras, and more. FBI will be participating as well to ensure security protocols are met and executed accordingly. IMS officials advise people to plan ahead and come earlier to the largest sporting event (leave 2 hours earlier than usual) because of the huge crowd and the busy gates. All 24 gates would be open during the event, but expect gates 1, 6, and 9 to be crowded as usual. Go for other routes instead. It’s a fully-booked blockbuster event alright – go prepared, follow the rules, keep it safe, be patient, and have fun while you’re at it.