Police officials estimate they could raise as much as $1 million a year by charging for the police protection they have long provided free for conventions and big events, including the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration, the 500 Festival and the Indianapolis 500.
The idea, though controversial in a city whose name is synonymous with its world-famous race, isn’t far-fetched. As public safety budgets across the country tighten, cities such as Louisville, Ky., and Salt Lake City have re-examined whether they should offer free event policing. Other big convention cities, including Las Vegas, have charged vendors for years.
But it’s not a plan without consequences. Some of the city’s biggest draws, such as the Summer Celebration and the 500-Mile Race, which attract tens and even hundreds of thousands of people every year, also incur the highest security costs — more than $200,000 for Expo and nearly $140,000 for the race . . .
“We are in an extremely competitive marketplace,” said Republican City-County Council member Jack Sandlin, a former Indianapolis police officer. “Thirty years ago, we made a decision to attract sports and other events. The extra cost was part of that. Could charging for police services cause us to lose events? “That’s something to think about.” . . .
Today, Louisville officials don’t charge for everything. But Churchill Downs, the site of the city’s flagship event, the Kentucky Derby, is required to reimburse about $225,000 in security costs, said Dwight Mitchell, spokesman for the department . . .
Mayor Greg Ballard’s spokesman, Marc Lotter, said charging organizations for police protection would discourage conventions from coming to Indianapolis and would “hurt the city’s economy.”
“It doesn’t make economic sense, and it would cost the city in the long run,” he said. “It would make it more expensive for these events to come here.”
Council President Maggie Lewis, a Democrat, said charging a fee is at least worth discussing, but she said she would want organizers to consent to it.
“I would support it if the Black Expos, for instance, came along voluntarily,” she said. “But if they said it was too much of a burden, I would be concerned about imposing something on them.” To do so, she said, could create conflict. “That wouldn’t be good; IBE is part of our city’s fabric,” Lewis said . . .IMPD is actually low-balling the actual cost of these events, particularly the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hell, the owners of the Kentucky Motor Speedway pay Kentucky's State Police $150,000 a year for a track that draws far fewer spectators than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but who is going to call them out on it. If someone can afford to pass out expensive pacer cars to members of the 500 festival committee to drive around town and flaunt the whole month of May, then surely they can cough up the extra dollars to pay for the extra policing costs their events cost the taxpayers.
The Gannett-owned Indianapolis Star is in bed with all of these corrupt cronies who are constantly picking our pockets and covers up all of their criminal activity comprised of various forms of bribes, kickbacks and payoffs. The priorities of these people are so screwed up it is beyond belief. The City-County Council President will only go along with it if the sponsors of the event consent to paying the fees! What about the people she was elected to serve? Can you believe it? Do we not have a voice? We, the people, do not consent to allowing these freeloaders to use our police services for their own self-serving benefit at the cost of the rest of the community, Ms. Lewis. That's all that you should care about, but we know why you don't think that way because we know where the money in your bank account is derived. This is what happens when virtually everyone making the decisions is on the downtown mafia's payroll in one form or another. Until there is a complete revolution in the way this city is run, you will continue to be taxed into servitude for the sole benefit of a small group of elitist downtown mafia members who have bought off the Mayor and most of your city council members.
Charge the event, and have the event either swallow to cost or add it to the ticket price.
As I do not attend silly sports events, I should not have to pay for the sports structure, the players of the sport or the security for the sporting event.
I would have thought that the paper would have asked the Sheriff a)how much money he already collects from the escorts into the track on race days, and b) how that money is spent.
Pat, That escorting service used to be done entirely for the benefit of the sheriff's re-election committee. You essentially made a campaign contribution to the sheriff's campaign committee to get escorted to the track. Not sure how it works today.
obviously all new hires ought to be restricted to only preventing certain specified crimes
There are no plans to add additional police officers. It's another bait-and-switch promoted by these criminals to get their grubby hands on more of our tax dollars. How do I know this? Because they have lied about the purpose of every tax increase they've enacted over the past two decades. It's all about getting more money in the pot to redistribute to members of the downtown mafia.
It is absolutely time for those who use those city services in an extraordinary way, pay for the extraordinary services they receive. Of course, far be it for me to ask the Mayor to grow a pair, act like an Officer, and do what the Mayor of Atlanta did:
"ATLANTA -- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed made it clear Wednesday that he would not tolerate a repeat of the 1990s version of Freaknik.
"I will tell you I will sue them," said Reed at a
City Hall news conference. "I will sue them. I'm not going to be fancy about this. I'm not going to tolereate having this city's resources utilized by people who don't respect our laws and ordinances."
The Freaknik that left Atlanta after several disruptive years an event that left a permanent mark on the city. Freaknik weekends were filled with gridlock, grinding, and groping. The city's police force was overwhelmed.
Mayor Reed sent a cease and desist letter to the promoter of Freaknic Atlanta 2010. The Mayor points out that the event failed to obtain any city permits. Mayor Reed warned the promoter that he could be charged 100's of thousands of dollars for taxing city services."
Black Expo has Violent History
One poster on a blog said it very well: "Another Black Expo, another round of shootings, more kids with guns. Unfortunately, these shootings are almost becoming an expectation.
Much is being said about how to stop the shootings, from curfews to shutting down the event on the second Saturday night.
But those would be Band-Aids. What about the larger questions of why children even show up at an event like Black Expo with guns, and why they join gangs? For those with long memories, it hasn’t always been this way. And, as hopeless as it sometimes seems, it doesn’t have to stay this way.
Where did the social fabric tear?"
The Truth About Black Expo Violence
The crooks rule Indy. Boycott these Special Events, sending the message that you are not their slave.
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