(BLOOMINGTON) - The Bloomington Police Department is continuing with its annual planning and preparations for IU's Little 500.
The event will affect police operations this weekend. The event kicks off today.
Typically, Little 500 weekend brings a high number of arrests for underage drinking, public intoxication, disorderly conduct and assaults that take place at large parties or in the downtown area near student-oriented bars.
In response to the increase in general calls for service and emergency events, the Department will have additional officers working both Friday and Saturday nights.
The majority of officers will be working during the overnight hours when the need is greatest. Officers will be assigned to marked and unmarked police vehicles. Officers will also be deployed in squads to patrol on foot in the downtown near the bars and in areas known for larger parties such as East 19th and 20th Street. Foot patrol squads will have the ability to provide greater police visibility and take enforcement action wherever the need arises throughout both nights.
The Department also prepares for the event by making sure all police vehicles are serviced and available for use, that there is an adequate supply of Flex-Cuffs (temporary restraints) and mouthpieces for Portable Breath Test instruments.
A remote booking site for the Monroe County Jail will be set up at the Department which improves efficiency by making arresting officers available more quickly than typical booking procedures at the actual jail. BPD is also hosting a Command Center that will include personnel from various law enforcement agencies and First Responders such as the Indiana State Police, Indiana State Excise Police, Indiana University Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Bloomington Fire Department and IU Health Bloomington Hospital Ambulance Service.
The Bloomington Police Department encourages those participating in activities related to the Little 500 weekend to use good judgment in their consumption of alcohol, watch out for friends who may have had too much to drink, and to not hesitate to call 9-1-1 for help for those who need medical assistance.
Remember that Indiana's Lifeline Law provides protections in many situations for those who call for medical assistance rather than subjecting them to arrest.
Residents should also take precautions to safeguard their property by keeping house parties small and know who you allow into your residence.
To avoid arrest, do not engage in illegal activity that will draw attention to yourself from the multitude of officers who will be out this weekend trying to keep the weekend safe for everyone.
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