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Indy Police Welcome But Warn Big Ten Tournament Fans

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3, 2009

(UNDATED) - Police will welcome Big Ten basketball fans to Indianapolis this Friday with the latest in a series of crackdowns on drunken driving.

Federal grant money will pay overtime costs to put a thousand extra officers on the streets in 250 Indiana jurisdictions through March 22. But Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Executive Director Neil Moore says there's particular focus on Indianapolis, with an estimated 100,000 people flooding the city for the men's and women's Big Ten tournaments.

The women's tourney tips off Thursday, with the men following a week later. Moore notes downtown restaurants and bars mark the annual tourneys by designating 11 bars as "headquarters" for each school.

He says it's important to make sure any fans drinking there don't endanger other drivers. He says future saturation patrols may coincide with other major sporting events, including the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 and the 2012 Super Bowl.

As always, police are advising drivers to plan in advance, by either doing their drinking at home, appointing a designated driver, or calling a cab after a night on the town.

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