On Saturday, February 13, 2016, the Speedway Lions Club hosted the annual State of the Town Address, held in the Media Center at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In addition to summaries of the various Town of Speedway departments, including Parks, Streets, Infrastucture, Schools, and Fire Department, Speedway Town Council President David Lindsey spoke about the effort and commitment of the Speedway Police Department to the safety of the town, highest standards of policing practices, as well as the continued strengthening of partnership with residents.
I personally believe that the key to the quality of life begins by keeping our residents safe. Our emergency services have consistently risen to the challenge of protecting our residents, businesses, and investments in our community.
Our police department was recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies as an accredited police department. This recognition places our police department among the select police departments in the United States that have best police practices. Of the over 17,000 police departments in the United States, only 581 are CALEA accredited and our police department is one of those departments.
We see other instances around the country where there is strife between the community and police; but in Speedway, our police department is part of our community, and as a group professionals charged with a challenging and often dangerous job, they have willingly accepted the challenge to adopt the highest standards of law enforcement.
Speaking of engaging citizens and police, the department’s Volunteers in Policing services has done just that. The V.I.P. program utilizes graduates of our outstanding Citizens Academy to assist in special public safety assignments including special event security and traffic control. Would all of the graduates, instructors, and volunteers of our Citizens Academy please stand and be recognized at this time. Thank you.
In 2015, this partnership between the community and our police department extended to our high school as well. The outstanding leadership in Speedway schools and the Speedway Police Department created the first Student Academy to foster strong relationships between the next generation of leaders in our community and our leaders in law enforcement.
We accomplished all of this while serving as the lead law enforcement agency for three international sporting events and 62 special events in the community. Make no mistake, our emergency service professionals face challenges each day. To assist in the challenging environment that they must operate in, we have invested in the infrastructure that allows our team to stay informed. We have improved cameras at intersections and in our parks, adopted a policy that will allow the police department to replace the oldest squad cars in the fleet and we’ve partnered with other agencies to utilize data and mapping technology to be more proactive. We believe that by fostering strong partnerships in the community and taking decisive action to deter and arrest criminals, we will continue to protect the investments that we have made in this community.
Our Code Enforcement Division took on the challenge of developing recommended updates to the Town’s Municipal Code. This is no small task when you consider that the code in some instances was nearly 90 years old. These policy changes added a much needed review of the necessity of many of these antiquated laws while also recommending policies that make our neighborhoods stronger and safer. I greatly appreciate Joe Kramer’s efforts to help us not only enforce the Municipal Code, but also to find ways to strengthen it. Thank you Joe.
Click here to watch the entire video of the Speedway Town of the Town Address (the portion the address related to public safety starts at 45:46):
In addition, the 2015 Year in Review video is shown at the end of the State of the Town Address or you can view it separately below. The video contains clips of so many of the great events, construction, and development in Speedway. Among them is our 2015 National Night Out event, as well as the graduation for the latest Citizens Academy Class!
On Wednesday, February 17, 2016, Chiefs from within and around Marion County (including Speedway PD) met with IMPD to discuss crime & data analysis and how to better communicate with each other.
IMPD Chief Troy Riggs said:
“It was our pleasure today to have some of the surrounding Chiefs of Indianapolis come here and talk about working together in partnership to try to deal with some of the issues we’re facing, not just in Indianapolis but throughout Central Indiana. I’m really excited about the men and women that represent the departments around us; good, hardworking motivated individuals, they’re going to bring alot of talent to helping us in Indianapolis and as we work at trying to really focus on crime, we want to make sure that all of our Chiefs understand what’s going on, so we just don’t simply displace crime. In working together, we improve the quality of life for all the residents of Central Indiana. So we’re very grateful to the Chiefs for being here today and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
IMPD Assistant Chief Bryan Roach said:
We believe that crime doesn’t have any borders and that all of us are probably dealing with the same issues and even some of the same individuals. So this was an opportunity to communicate where we as a police department, IMPD, is going and to enlist their help and to open up doors of communication so that we can be more effective for the community in general.”
In response to many people who have asked when to call 911 vs. when to call the non-emergency line, we hope this post from the Speedway Police Department will offer some guidance and clarification. The SPD non-emergency number is (317) 246-4300 and also can be found on the right sidebar of this site.
What is an Emergency?
An “emergency” is an event that poses immediate, significant threat to life and/or property. The following are examples of an emergency:
A request for medical assistance
A person threatening to harm themselves or others
A noise from the next dorm room or apartment that sounds like a violent physical encounter.
A crime in progress
A situation which requires a police officer at the scene (e.g. assaults, kidnappings, burglaries, domestic disputes, terrorist threats, robberies, vehicle theft that has just occurred, vehicle or hit and run accidents with known or suspected injuries, gang related disturbance calls or any disturbance call involving a weapon, etc.)
Fire, hazardous chemical spill, smoke in your house or building, sparking electrical hazards, or fire/smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarms are sounding
Suspicious criminal activity (e.g. alarms, shots fired, shouts for help, and sounds of breaking glass, unfamiliar person carrying items dorm room or apartment, an occupied suspicious vehicle)
If the situation changes before help arrives, call 9-1-1 again and give the call taker the updated information
Examples of Non-Emergency Calls
To determine if someone has been arrested
Non-injury traffic accidents. If you are unsure of injuries it can be considered an emergency call
Loud music or loud party complaints
Juvenile complaints of a non-threatening nature such as skateboarding, or loitering
Abandoned vehicles, unless suspected stolen
Informational questions that might be asked
When You Call 9-1-1 (Items You May Be Asked to Provide)
Briefly explain the nature of your emergency or complaint
Your name, address and telephone number
Location (the address where the incident is occurring)
The location of occurrence is so the police know where to send the help. That might be the first question a dispatcher or call taker will ask you. WHY? If the call is disconnected, or there is a phone problem, the location of the incident is the minimum amount of information needed to send help. Since the address has such great importance, please be sure to give a full description of your location. For example: Provide the building or apartment name and room number or where you are in the building; or Indy 500 Track.
If outside, provide a description of where you are. Be specific. For example, if you are at the track, state you are near the front entrance of turn #4, in the back of the restrooms.
If you are driving to your destination, and calling about something you saw on the way, provide the closest cross streets to the incident occurrence. For example, Crawfordsville and Cunningham.
Once an officer arrives at the location originally provided, it is not uncommon for the situation or location to have changed. The police department will often use your location as a starting point to search for what you reported. If the officer is unable to find anything, they may respond back to your address and talk to you for additional information, but only if you want contact.
Once the police department has the very basic information they need to send help, the dispatcher will start asking more questions, such as:
Who caused the problem, when the incident occurred?
Why do you think the situation happened?
Time from the Incident to Your Call
If the problem you are reporting just occurred (or 5 -10 minutes before you called), the questions the police department asks will be different then if the situation occurred the night before. The next set of questions the police department asks may be about the person you think is responsible for causing the problem or the situation.
How to Describe a Person or Suspect
When providing a suspect description to an officer, describe that person in a certain manner. Start from the top of their head and work down to the toes. For example: White male adult about 5’ feet 7” tall, blond hair, blue eyes, with a mustache and goatee.
For the clothing description, start from the outside and move in towards the body from the top of the head and moving down to the toes. For example: The subject is wearing a New York Yankees hat, red jacket, blue flannel shirt with a white t-shirt underneath, black belt with silver type belt buckle, blue jeans and sneakers.
Information Needed if a Vehicle was Involved
How would one give information to the dispatcher or call taker if a vehicle was involved? There are certain questions asked, and in a certain order for a vehicle description. The reason dispatchers ask these questions in this way is because the officer responding to the call may spot a similar vehicle on the way to your call, the same color or year or the same make or body style. If possible, provide the license plate number too.
Here is a list of questions the dispatcher or call taker may ask about the description of a vehicle:
The Speedway Police Department encourages you to call if you feel something is suspicious or potentially warrants their attention. They are more than happy to patrol any areas necessary to help identify or deter any potential dangers. If you feel something to be suspicious NEVER hesitate to call the department.
IMPD took a report today on a threat that was made to schools in general. There at no time was a specific threat made to Speedway Schools. The measures that SPD took were only made as a precaution based only upon the report made to IMPD.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office Multi-Jurisdictional Offender Strategy Team in partnership with the Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office will be hosting a free Crime Prevention presentation on Tuesday, July 29th from 6:30PM – 8:00PM at the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, 7001 W. 56th Street in Indianapolis.
Please contact Daphne Whitmire, Marion Co. Prosecutor’s Office, at Daphne.Whitmire@indy.gov or 327-1420 with questions.
For a small donation of $6, Speedway Neighborhood Watch is now offering residents the opportunity to obtain Neighborhood Watch yard signs to post by your home, similar to a security system sign.You can obtain the signs by calling Sgt. Mirantha Wilson of SPD at the number listed below; email us admin at speedwayneighborhoodwatch.com (replace at with @) or message us through Facebook or Twitter, if you prefer.
By offering these signs, we hope to:
Increase the presence of the Speedway Neighborhood Watch program
Deter crime by sending a message that neighbors watch out for each other and report all suspicious activity
Partner with Speedway Police Department to keep our town safe!
Each sign is 12” x 12” Coroplast w/ wire stake included. Signs are $6 each, and offered as a donation to the Speedway Police Department Extracurricular Fund.
UPDATE 5/6/2014: We have more signs available for delivery! Please contact us to place your order!
We’d like to thank all of the Speedway residents who came out tonight to the All District Symposium. If you weren’t able to join us, we’d like to present a quick recap and invite you to attend future events and get involved in your District’s Neighborhood Watch.
Citizens Academy alumni greet Speedway residents
A great turnout!
Lt. Trent Theobald opened the meeting by welcoming everyone, and talking a bit about his involvement with the Neighborhood Watch program, and thanked everyone at the Speedway Police Department who helped organize the event, as well as the District Coordinators. Lt. Theobald introduced Speedway Police Chief Jim Campbell and Asst. Chief Chuck Upchurch. Chief Campbell spoke about community policing and how police departments were not intended to be the only means of public safety. Residents and the police department need to partner together in an effort to solve community concerns, and help prevent crime. Residents serve as the extra eyes and ears of the police department and everyone is encouraged to call in anything suspicious.
Lt. Trent Theobald
Police Chief Jim Campbell
Next, Lt. Theobald introduced the new Neighborhood Watch contact from SPD, Sgt. Mirantha Wilson. Sgt. Wilson also talked about the importance of strong neighborhoods and for residents to watch out for each other. She mentioned the crimes surrounding Speedway, but stressed that while we have less crime, we are NOT immune from it happening here. It takes a commitment for all of us to care for our neighbors and neighborhoods, and to learn about the various ways we can protect ourselves and each other to form a strong Neighborhood Watch. She mentioned our site, as well as our various social media sites (see links at right).
Sgt. Mirantha Wilson
Sgt. Wilson also presented the group with prototypes of a Neighborhood Watch sign that residents display in their yards by their homes, to serve as a crime deterrent. When a presence is known that neighbors are watching out and will call the police to report all suspicious activities, it can deter criminals who might be casing neighborhoods to break into homes. Possibilities for the signs could be 12″ X 12″ or a slightly smaller, 10″ X 10″ sign. Also displayed were window clings which can be displayed in house windows. At this time, the yard signs and window clings are not yet available, but if we receive enough positive response, could be made available for purchase at a small cost. Feel free to comment with your feedback to let us know your interest!
Sgt. Mirantha Wilson and Lt. Trent Theobald
Joe Kramer and John Merritt from the Code Enforcement Division were also present. Joe Kramer spoke about what their division is up to, trying to work with homeowners to help keep neighborhoods clean and kept up, which helps property values – it also helps deter crime when residents care about their neighborhoods.
Sgt. Mirantha Wilson and Code Enforcement Officer Joe Kramer
Next, Sgt. Wilson directed the group to break into smaller groups by District. Each group met with a representative regarding their District to discuss specific concerns, and also had a chance to look at the yard signs and window clings – response was positive!
We again thank everyone for joining us, and we look forward to seeing you at your District’s upcoming meetings. We will post information here and on our social media sites, as each District’s meetings are scheduled!
Speedway- The holiday season is a special and exciting time of the year; it is also a time when people could become more vulnerable to theft and other types of crimes. The following tips are suggested by the Speedway Police Department to help keep you and your loved ones safe during the holiday season.
Shop during daylight hours and with a friend
If you must shop after dark, park in a well-lit location
Avoid parking next to vans, trucks or cars with dark tinted windows
Do not leave any valuables or packages in the vehicle where they can be seen
Lock your car doors
Keep control of your wallets and purses, do not leave them unattended To discourage purse-snatches, don’t overburden yourself with packages
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
Be sure to locate your keys before getting to your car
Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially while walking to your car
Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area
If you feel uncomfortable, request mall security for an escort or wait until suspicious people relocate
If you must use an ATM, chose one that is located inside of a mall or in a well-lit location – know who and what is going on around you while using the machine
Purchase from only reputable websites
Be wary of meeting strangers from online websites
Use only one credit card that has a low credit limit
Keep all receipts from online purchases
Check your credit card transactions online or the credit statements after the holidays and even run a credit check to make sure you weren’t the victim of fraud
If you can, leave small children with a trusted babysitter
Teach children to stay close to you at all times and never allow them to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom
Never leave your child alone in a vehicle
Teach your child to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them
Put lights on an automatic timer
If traveling have a trusted neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up newspapers and mail; or have the service temporarily suspended
Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied
Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through windows and or doors
Ensure that tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children do not tip over the tree
Make sure all doors and windows are locked at all times
Leave the garage door closed, even when you are home
Do not answer the door if you are not expecting anyone
Call 911 if you see suspicious behavior
If you will be traveling for the holiday
If you will be driving make sure your vehicle is in good working order and that the tires have the right amount of air
Travel with water and snacks in the vehicle just in case of inclement weather
Have trusted neighbors retrieve mail and newspapers or have the service temporarily suspended
If it snows, ask a neighbor and or family to shovel driveway or park in the driveway so it looks as if someone is home
Close blinds and make sure all windows are locked
Put lights on timers
Leave a radio or television on so it sounds as if someone is home
Strangers at Your Door
Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts
Criminals will take advantage of holiday generosity by soliciting door to door for charitable causes although there is no charity involved
You DO NOT have to answer the door! If you are suspicious of the person at your door, call police
Ultimately, we can never be too aware or too careful. The Speedway Police Department has plans in place to provide extra patrols in and around shopping locations throughout the town. Always remember public safety resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Never hesitate to call 911 or the non-emergency number at 244-9543. Speedway employees wish you and your family Seasons Greetings.